Pierre Desrochers

GGR 329 – Environment and the Roots of Globalization

Period: Sept.-Dec. 2021 
Instructor: Pierre DesrochersOffice: Davis Building, room 3273
Lectures: Monday 3-5 PMLecture room: ZOOM
Phone: (905) 828-5206E-mail: pierre.desrochers@utoronto.ca

You can contact me anytime at pierre.desrochers@utoronto.ca. For a Zoom, Skype or other video call, contact me in advance to schedule an appointment Monday 1:30 – 3PM.

Please read the course syllabus before e-mailing a question.

Always use your University of Toronto e-mail address (@utoronto.ca) for all course-related communications. E-mails from other domains (e.g., hotmail, Rogers, gmail, yahoo, etc.) may be filtered as spam and will at any rate be ignored. Always include the course code (e.g., GGR329) as part of your subject line, along with your full name and student number in the body of the e-mail. E-mails will be answered during office hours as promptly as possible. Please note that I do not open attachments and will not answer during week-ends.

The first person that you should e-mail concerning department- or program-related queries or to submit documentation regarding a missed assignment, quiz, or test is the Academic Counsellor for Geography/Environment, Sabrina Ferrari (sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca).

E-mail should NOT be viewed as an alternative to meeting with the TA or professor during office hours. Nor should e-mail be used as a mechanism to receive private tutorials (especially prior to tests) or to explain material that was covered in missed lectures. Not receiving replies to e-mails from the TA or professor, or not receiving them in time, will not be an acceptable excuse for pleas for extensions to assignment or exam deadlines.

Students are advised to consult http://www.enough.utoronto.ca/ for information on university policy concerning the appropriate use of information and communication technology.

Geographical or environmental factors, such as landscape, flora and fauna, are obviously of some importance in explaining why history unfolded differently on different continents. The idea that some form of environmental (or geographical) determinism has affected the fate of human societies is therefore as old as it is controversial. While this perspective was in retreat for most of the twentieth century, it has made an impressive comeback in recent years with the publication of influential books and academic articles.

The purpose of this course is to discuss critically some of this recent literature and to examine how “geography” and “the environment” might have impacted the development of agriculture, complex technologies, writing, centralized government and how, in the process, it has shaped the current world economic map. While the subjects discussed are often technical, the assigned readings are accessible to students with no previous backgrounds in scientific disciplines or geographical research.

The course format will alternate between formal classes and open discussions. Students are expected to have read the assigned texts in advance.

The course has five (5) main objectives:

  1. To provide a broad survey of how geographical and environmental factors have impacted the development of human civilization;
  2. To provide some historical perspective on the current processes of globalization;
  3. To advance students’ skills in critical analysis and writing;
  4. To learn the basic terminology with which professionals in relevant disciplines communicate their work and their research findings;
  5. To apply a wide range of academic skills in active listening, note-taking, studying, reading, and test-taking to upper-level university courses.
Exceptionally this COVID year, your written assignments will consist of the following:
1) Short written assignments 50% 2:59PM day of lecture
2) Term Test 20% October 18  2:59PM
3) Final Exam 30% TBA (Online)
As per the University Grading Practices Policy, please note that “after the methods of evaluation have been made known, the instructor may not change them or their relative weight without the consent of at least a simple majority of the students enrolled in the course. Any changes shall be reported to the division or the department.” Discussions of the test/exam and written assignments can be found below.

The main text for the course is Jared Diamond‘s Guns, Germs, and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies (W.W. Norton & Company, 1999, ISBN 978-0-393-31755-8) (Any edition of the book is acceptable. The latest is the 2017 Anniversary ISBN-10: 0393354326; ISBN-13: 978-039335432.) Summaries of Diamond’s thesis can be found here, here, here, here, here and here. We will also watch the PBS – National Geographic 3 part series based on Diamond’s book. Keep in mind, however, that the summaries and the TV special are not substitutes for the book.

Additional readings, both Required and Suggested, are listed below. Most of the readings are freely accessible from anywhere. Some of them, however, may require you to use a UofT terminal or user code.

All assignments will be processed through Ouriginal (UTM no longer uses Turnitin). The relevant technical details will be communicated via Quercus.

Short written assignments

You are asked to submit at least four written assignments that consist of a one page (single space) reflexion on the REQUIRED READINGS for the week. Each assignment will be worth 12.5% of your final mark. The deadline to submit your written assignment through Quercus is 2:59PM the day of the lecture. Failure to do so will result in a grade of 0. Please note that the departmental policy of 10% per day per late assignment does not apply in the case of the short written assignments. 

To clarify

  • Neither the videos nor the suggested readings are to be covered in this assignment.
  • You must cover the readings that will be discussed in class that day. For exemple, on September 20st you must submit a written assignment based on the readings to be discussed in class on September 20st, not the readings discussed the previous week.
  • The deadline to submit your written assignment through Quercus is 2:59PM the day of the lecture.
  • The point here is not to summarize the readings, but to identify the main theme(s) and how some of the readings complement or contradict each other. You do not need to cover all the required readings.
  • You can refer to the author’s last name only (e.g., “Diamond” for Jared Diamond)
  • You do not need to include a bibliography as your professor already knows the readings.
  • Each assignment will be graded out of 12.5. Your four best marks will be compiled to determine 50% of your final grade.
  • You can write up and submit up to 11 short written assignments.
  • Two good assignments written by past students have been included in the “Modules” of the Quercus shell for this course. Please consider them “best practice” and models to emulate.
Term Test and Final Exam

The term test will be a take-home assignment worth 20% of the final mark. The final exam will be written during the final exam period assigned for this course. It will be worth 30% of your final mark.

  • The term test will consist of short essays (5-6 pages in total) based on a question selected by the student out of two or three options given by the professor. These questions will cover some of the material discussed in class (including the required videos), the mandatory readings and the suggested readings.
  • The term test questions will be posted on October 4 and the deadline is October 18, 2:59PM. Please note that this is a term test, not a term work. As such, if you will not be able to meet the deadline follow the procedure for missed quizzes and tests detailed below (e.g., contacting the instructor in advance and the subsequent procedures). This is NOT a term work with a 10% per day late penalty.
  • The final exam will take place on the day scheduled by the Registrar’s Office. It will use an open book format. You will have three (3) hours to answer two (2) questions selected by your professor out of up to five (5) themes given in advance. More detail will be given towards the end of the semester.


Please use the following guidelines for both the terms test and final exam

What is the point of these assignments?

  • To acquire more in-depth learning about a topic discussed in this course and its relevance to broader policy discussions
  • To develop your writing skills
  • To learn to think critically
  • To learn the basics of scholarly and policy work

Useful links to help you write your assignments

The University of Toronto Library staff has compiled several links on researching and writing term papers and other types of work. Please look them up, along with the various university resources available to you:

Questions for the term test and final exam will be communicated to students through Quercus.

Student Technology Requirements and Connection Tools (Zoom, Bb Collaborate)

Students are expected to review and be in compliance with the University’s requirements for online learning (https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/tech-requirements-online-learning/). More resources are available on the UTM Library’s Learn Anywhere website (https://utm.library.utoronto.ca/students/quercus/learn-anywhere).

Zoom will be used in the delivery of components of this course. Students are required to register for a UTM Zoom account (https://utoronto.zoom.us) prior to the first lecture. Only authenticated users can join the zoom meetings; please follow the instructions to ensure that your account is authenticated.

Privacy and Use of Course Materials Notifications

Notice of video recording and sharing (Download and re-use prohibited)

This course, including your participation, will be recorded on video and will be available to students in the course for viewing remotely and after each session. Course videos and materials belong to your instructor, the University, and/or other sources depending on the specific facts of each situation, and are protected by copyright. Do not download, copy, or share any course or student materials or videos without the explicit permission of the instructor. For questions about recording and use of videos in which you appear please contact your instructor.

Communications Policy

Students are encouraged to avail of the posted office hour(s). Correspondence by email or requesting a meeting outside of the scheduled office hour(s) is also acceptable. In all email correspondence regarding this course, please note the following:

  1. Always use your University of Toronto email address (…@mail.utoronto.ca) for all course-related communications.
  2. Include the course code (e.g., ENV100Y5Y) as part of your subject line, and include your full name and student number in the body of the email
  3. Check the course Quercus site before emailing a question, to make sure that it has not already been answered

Please contact the department’s Academic Counsellor, Sabrina Ferrari (sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca), for any department- or program-related queries or to submit documentation regarding a missed quiz or test.

Missed Term Work

Late assignments will be subject to a late penalty of 10% per day (including weekends) of the total marks for the assignment. Assignments submitted five calendar days beyond the due date will be assigned a grade of zero.

Term Work – Accommodations

  1. Accommodations due to late registration into the course will NOT be approved.
  2. In courses with final exams, there will be no re-writes or make-ups for term tests/quizzes missed for University-accepted, verifiable reasons. Instead, the final exam will be re-weighted by the value of the term test/quiz.
  3. For in-class or online quiz/test, studentsCANNOT petition to re-write a quiz/test once it has begun.  If you are feeling ill, please do not start the online or in-class test and seek medical attention immediately.
  4. For extension requests, maximum extension (where/when possible) is ONE week.
  5. Extension requests must be made IN ADVANCE of the assignment due date.
  6. Assignments handed in AFTER the work has been returned to the class cannot be marked for credit.
  7. Students are responsible in ensuring strong reliable internet connection. Special consideration requests due to poor internet connection (ie. unable to complete online quiz / unable to submit assignment before deadline) will not be accepted.
  8. Students are expected to back up their work at all times. As such, extension requests due to computer issues (stolen, crashed, damaged etc.) will not be considered.
  9. Extension requests will NOT be approved for Group Assignments
  10. It is every student’s responsibility to ensure that their online submission is submitted successfully by the due date. Accommodations will not be made for unsuccessful submissions due to, but not limited to: i) the system timing out ii) submitting the incorrect document(s) iii) poor internet connection / no internet connection etc.
  11. Holidays and pre-purchased plane tickets, family plans, your friend’s wedding, lack of preparation, or too many other tests/assignments are not acceptable excuses for missing a quiz, a test, an item of term work, or requesting an extension of time.
  12. For extensions of time beyond the examination period you must submit a petition through the Office of the Registrar. https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/registrar/forms

How to Request an Accommodation

In the Geography, Geomatics and Environment department, professors cannot grant extensions on term work or allow makeups for missed items. Instead, you must follow the following steps:

  1. You must submit an online Special Consideration Request using the following link: https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest within 24 hours. Note: The system only supports Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox for the time being.
  2. Email your course instructor.
  3. Submit your absence using the ACORN absence declaration tool. Each day that you are absent must be recorded. The ACORN absence declaration tool lets you record absences for up to 14 consecutive days, one of which must be the day you access the tool (if you are still absent) or the day prior (if you have returned). If you need to record an absence outside of this range, please contact the Office of the Registrar. More information about Absence Declarations can be found at: https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/registrar/utm-absence.
  4. Provide a copy of your Absence Declaration submission on ACORN to the Sabrina Ferrari. (ferrari@utoronto.ca)

Please note that students are required to submit their assignment/lab as soon as they are able and they should NOT wait for the decision of the committee

It is your responsibility to follow the appropriate procedures and submit requests for special consideration on time. Failure to do so may result in the committee denying your request. Should you require further information regarding Special Considerations, please contact Sabrina Ferrari (sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca) Academic Counselor.

Please note that the written explanation and documentation that you submit represents an appeal from you, requesting the opportunity to account for that portion of your grade in some other manner. If a special consideration request is not received, or if the special consideration request is denied, you will receive a grade of zero for the item you missed. If the special consideration request is granted – that is, your reason for missing the item is considered acceptable by the committee – your grade will be accommodated accordingly.

A Departmental committee evaluates each request. Decisions will be communicated by email within two weeks of receipt of all completed documents. Note: It is your responsibility to ensure your email account is working and able to receive emails. Claims that a Departmental decision was not received will NOT be considered as a reason for further consideration. Contact Sabrina Ferrari (sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca) Academic Counselor, should you NOT receive notification of your decision within 2 weeks of submission.

The University of Toronto is committed to equity and respect for diversity. All members of the learning environment in this course should strive to create an atmosphere of mutual respect. As a course instructor, I will neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of any individual in this course and wish to be alerted to any attempt to create an intimidating or hostile environment. It is our collective responsibility to create a space that is inclusive and welcomes discussion. Discrimination, harassment and hate speech will not be tolerated. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns you may contact the UTM Equity and Diversity officer at edo.utm@utoronto.ca or the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union Vice President Equity at vpequity@utmsu.ca.

Academic Rights

You, as a student at UTM, have the right to:

  • Receive a syllabus by the first day of class.
  • Rely upon a syllabus once a course is started. An instructor may only change marks’ assignments by following the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy provision 1.3.
  • Refuse to use Ouriginal (you must be offered an alternative form of submission).
  • Have access to your instructor for consultation during a course or follow up with the department chair if the instructor is unavailable.
  • Ask the person who marked your term work for a re-evaluation if you feel it was not fairly graded. You have up to one month from the date of return of the item to inquire about the mark. If you are not satisfied with a re-evaluation, you may appeal to the instructor in charge of the course if the instructor did not mark the work. If your work is remarked, you must accept the resulting mark. You may only appeal a mark beyond the instructor if the term work was worth at least 20% of the course mark.
  • Receive at least one significant mark (15% for H courses, 25% for Y courses) before the last day you can drop a course for H courses, and the last day of classes in the first week of January for Y courses taught in the Fall/Winter terms.
  • Submit handwritten essays so long as they are neatly written.
  • Have no assignment worth 100% of your final grade.
  • Not have a term test worth 25% or more in the last two weeks of class.
  • Retain intellectual property rights to your research.
  • Receive all your assignments once graded.
  • View your final exams. To see a final exam, you must submit an online Exam Reproduction Request within 6 months of the exam. There is a small non-refundable fee.
  • Privacy of your final grades.
  • Arrange for representation from Downtown Legal Services (DLS), a representative from the UTM Students’ Union (UTMSU), and/or other forms of support if you are charged with an academic offence.

It is your responsibility as a student at the University of Toronto to familiarize yourself with, and adhere to, both the Code of Student Conduct and the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.

This means, first and foremost, that you should read them carefully.

  • The Code of Student Conduct is available from the U of T Mississauga website (Registrar > Academic Calendar > Codes and Policies) or in your print version of the Academic Calendar.
  • The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters is available from the U of T Mississauga website (Registrar > Academic Calendar > Codes and Policies) or in your print version of the Academic Calendar.

Another helpful document that you should read is How Not to Plagiarize, by M. Proctor.

With regard to remote learning and online courses, UTM wishes to remind students that they are expected to adhere to the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters regardless of the course delivery method. By offering students the opportunity to learn remotely, UTM expects that students will maintain the same academic honesty and integrity that they would in a classroom setting. Potential academic offences in a digital context include, but are not limited to:

  • Accessing unauthorized resources (search engines, chat rooms, Reddit, etc.) for assessments.
  • Using technological aids (e.g. software) beyond what is listed as permitted in an assessment.
  • Posting test, essay, or exam questions to message boards or social media.
  • Creating, accessing, and sharing assessment questions and answers in virtual “course groups.”
  • Working collaboratively, in-person or online, with others on assessments that are expected to be completed individually.

All suspected cases of academic dishonesty will be investigated following procedures outlined in the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. If you have questions or concerns about what constitutes appropriate academic behaviour or appropriate research and citation methods, you are expected to seek out additional information on academic integrity from your instructor or from other institutional resources.

University Plagiarism Detection Tool Conditions of Use Statement

“Normally, students will be required to submit their course essays to the University’s plagiarism detection tool for a review of textual similarity and detection of possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their essays to be included as source documents in the tool’s reference database, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. The terms that apply to the University’s use of this tool are described on the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation web site (https://uoft.me/pdt-faq).”

How to Query or Challenge a Mark

Please note that, according to UTM policy, you have one month from the date an item is returned to you, during which time you may query the mark or submit the item for remarking. Contact the Course Instructor in person or by email (@utoronto.ca) for all queries about course marks, or if you wish to challenge a mark. Absolutely no item will be remarked after the one-month period has passed.

Material submitted for remarking must be accompanied by a brief written explanation detailing your reasons for dissatisfaction with the original mark (such as an addition error, or something you think the marker may have missed). The item may be returned first to the TA who originally marked it. If you are still dissatisfied, it may be passed on to the Course Instructor for reconsideration. If a remarking is granted by an instructor, the student must accept the resulting mark as the new mark, whether it goes up or down or remains the same.

U of T Mississauga and the AccessAbility Resource Centre are committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of campus life. The AccessAbility Resource Centre provides academic accommodations and services to students who have a physical, sensory, or learning disability, mental health condition, acquired brain injury, or chronic health condition, be it visible or hidden. Students who have temporary disabilities (e.g., broken dominant arm) are also eligible to receive services. All interested students must have an intake interview with an advisor to discuss their individual needs.

Students who require accommodation are advised to visit the AccessAbility Resource Centre as early as possible to have their needs assessed, as it may take some time to process the application.

For more information please contact the centre at:
Room 2047, South Bldg.
Tel/TTY: 905-569-4699
E-mail: access.utm@utoronto.ca
Web: www.utm.utoronto.ca/access

As noted in the the Policy on Scheduling of Classes and Examinations and Other Accommodations for Religious Observances, the following provisions are included:
  • It is the policy of the University of Toronto to arrange reasonable accommodation of the needs of students who observe religious holy days other than those already accommodated by ordinary scheduling and statutory holidays.
  • Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and anticipated absences. Instructors will make every reasonable effort to avoid scheduling tests, examinations or other compulsory activities at these times. If compulsory activities are unavoidable, every reasonable opportunity should be given to these students to make up work that they miss, particularly in courses involving laboratory work. When the scheduling of tests or examinations cannot be avoided, students should be informed of the procedure to be followed to arrange to write at an alternate time.
  • It is most important that no student be seriously disadvantaged because of her or his religious observances. However, in the scheduling of academic and other activities, it is also important to ensure that the accommodation of one group does not seriously disadvantage other groups within the University community.”
  • With respect to minimum advance notice, the Policy provides that “Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and anticipated absences.” Since students would normally be aware of upcoming religious observances as well as examination schedules in advance, a minimum of three weeks advance notice will be considered sufficient.
  • More information and some dates of potential relevance for the U of T community are available at viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/publicationsandpolicies/guidelines/religiousobservances.htm.
  • As with any academic accommodation request, students must submit an on-line Special Consideration Request @ https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest

RGASC Statement

The Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre (RGASC) is located in Room 3251 on the third floor of the Maanjiwe nendamowinan Building. The RGASC offers individual consultations, workshops (many CCR-accredited), and a wide range of programs to help students identify and develop the academic skills they need for success in their studies. Much of their programming has shifted online while their physical office is closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visit the RGASC website to explore their online resources, book an online appointment, or learn about other programming such as Writing Retreats, the Program for Accessing Research Training (PART), Mathematics and Numeracy Support, and dedicated resources for English Language Learners.

UTM Library’s Statement

UTM Library – The University of Toronto Library provides access to a vast collection of online and print resources to faculty, staff, and students and is the largest academic library in Canada. The UTM Library offers Reference and Research Help virtually, through chat, Zoom, and individual research consultations, to help students navigate library databases, find relevant articles for their research, and cite correctly. The Library Workshops and Events help students learn about the search techniques and specialized software, needed to be successful in their academic journey. For more information, visit https://library.utm.utoronto.ca/.

On Jared Diamond’s Collapse (2005)

This seminar will not discuss Jared Diamond’s later books, including Collapse (2005). I believe this book is much more problematic than Guns, Germs and Steel. Diamond presented his main arguments in the following lectures: “How Societies Fail, And Sometimes Succeed” and “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.” Among the most perceptive critics of this book are:

McAnany, Patricia and Norman Yoffee. 2010. Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire. Cambridge University Press

Special journal issue
Energy and Environment (July 2005 – Several lengthy articles)

Longer essays
Brätland, John. 2010. “An Austrian Reexamination of Recent Thoughts on the Rise and Collapse of Societies.” Journal of Libertarian Studies 22 (1): 65-98.

Middleton, Guy. 2018. “Do Civilisations Collapse? The Idea that the Maya or Easter Islanders Experienced an Apocalyptic End Makes for Good Television but Bad Archaeology.” Aeon.

Avery, Dennis. 2018. “Easter Island’s “Ecological Suicide” – Myths and Realities.” Watts Up with That? (April 7).

Associated Press. 2018. “Why did Greenland’s Viking Colonies Disappear? It may have been because the trade in walrus ivory collapsed.” South China Morning Post (August 8).

Butzer, Karl W. 2012. “Collapse, Environment, and Society.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 (10):3632-3639.

Lawler, Andrew. 2010. “Collapse? What Collapse? Societal Change Revisited.” Science 330 (6006) (November 12): 907-909.

Dasgupta, Partha. 2005. “Bottlenecks.” London Review of Books, May 19.

McNeill, J. R. 2005. “Diamond in the Rough: Is There a Genuine Environmental Threat to Security?International Security 30 (1): 178-195.

Tainter, Joseph A. 2008. “Collapse, Sustainability, and the Environment: How Authors Choose to Fail or Succeed.” Reviews in Anthropology 37 (4): 342-371

Tainter, Joseph A. 2006. “Archaeology of Overshoot and Collapse.” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 35: 59-74.

Shorter reviews
Hanson, Victor Davis . 2005. “Decline and Fall.” National Review (March 28).

Smil, Vaclav. 2005. “Review of Collapse by Jared Diamond.” International Journal 60 (3): 886-889.

On Diamond’s take on Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
Mann, Charles C. 2011. “Don’t Blame the Natives.” The Wall Street Journal, July 30.

Peiser, Benny. 2005. “From Genocide to Ecocide: The Rape of Rapa Nui.” Energy & Environment 16(3): 513-539. 

Hunt, Terry and Lipo, Carl. 2012. Ecological Catastrophe and Collapse: The Myth of ‘Ecocide’ on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) PERC Research Paper No. 12/3. Available at SSRN or here

Video: Long Now Foundation, Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo. 2013. “The Statues Walked — What Really Happened on Easter Island.” 

Jared Diamonds vs Terry Hunt/Carl Lipo on Mark Lynas’ News and Environment (2011)
> Lynas on Hunt/Lipo vs Diamond 
> Diamond against Hunt/Lipo 
> Reply to Diamond by Hunt/Lipo 

On Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday (2012)
Golub, Alex. 2013. “Anthropology, Footnoted: Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday.” The Appendix 1 (2).

Acemoglu, Daron and James Robinson. 2013. “Past Perfect?Democracy 28 (Spring).

Corry, Stephen. 2013. “Savaging Primitives: Why Jared Diamond’s “The World Until Yesterday” is Completely Wrong.” The Daily Beast (January 30).

Wertheim, Stephen. 2013. “Hunter-Blatherer: On Jared Diamond.” The Nation (April 3).

Other interesting takes on geographical and environmental determinism
The BBC TV series “How Earth Made Us” hosted by Professor Iain Stewart. The series was “How the Earth changed history” in North America.

I also recommend Nature as “Historical Protagonist,” The Tawney Memorial Lecture 2008 (Economic History Association) by Professor Bruce M.S. Campbell (Queen’s University of Belfast) (video)

Other influential recent statements of societal collapse
Ehrlich, Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich. 2013. “Can a Collapse of Global Civilization be Avoided?Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280 (1754): 20122845.

Reuveny, Rafel. 2012. “Taking Stock of Malthus: Modeling the Collapse of Historical Civilizations.” Annual Review of Resource Economics 4: 303-329.

Books and Topical Suggestions

Below are links to books, websites and authors I find particularly relevant to various aspects of the topics discussed in this course.

• General Interest

Social Evolution and History (open access academic journal, several relevant articles).

• Environmental History

American Environmental History Bibliography

Arizona State biology professor Stephen Pyne’s Websites “Environmental Historiography – Canon and Counter-Canon” and “Introducing Environmental History

EH-Net book review library (arranged thematically)

Environmental Politics and Policy

Envirotech (Histories of the Environment and Technology) 

Forest History Society

Georgetown University historian John McNeill on:
– McNeill, John R. and Erin Stewart Mauldin (eds). 2012. A Companion to Global Environmental History. Wiley (See McNeill’s chapter on “Global Environmental History: The First 150,000 Years“)
– Mc Neill, John R. 2010. “The State of the Field of Environmental History.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 35: 345-374.
The Historiography of Environmental History
– “Issues and Literature” in Environmental History

H-Environment Discussion Network

Historian William Cronon’s webpage on useful environmental history web links.

Latin American Environmental History

Myers and Miles’s supplementary bibliography of Environmental History and Ethics 

• History of Medicine

Historian Peter McCandless’ research seminar syllabus on
Disease, Migration and the Environment
Medical History

History in Focus: Medical History – Bibliography

• History of technology

EH-Net book review library (arranged thematically)

Envirotech (Histories of the Environment and Technology)

Florida State Historian Robert Hatch’s Annotated Bibliography on the History of Science, Technology and Medicine 


• Environmental History

H-Environment website (part of H-Net, the Humanities and Social Sciences Online initiative) especially the links to environmental resources online.

Environmental History Timeline

Environmental History on the Web

Environmental History Bibliographies

• Medical History

History of Medicine

American Association for the History of Medicine

Science Museum’s History of Medicine website

• Historical Geography

BUBL link (Historical Geography)

Historical Geography Specialty Group

H HistGeog

Lecture 1 (Sept. 13): Is Geography (and Climate) Destiny? Part I
Lecture 2 (Sept. 20): Out of Africa
Lecture 3 (Sept. 27): Collision at Cajamarca
Lecture 4 (Oct. 4): Farmer Power, Part I
No class (Oct. 11) Thanksgiving; Fall Reading Week
Lecture 5 (Oct. 18): Farmer Power, Part II
Lecture 6 (Oct. 25): Farmer Power, Part III
Lecture 7 (Nov. 1): Germs and “Virgin Soils”, Part I
Lecture 8 (Nov. 8): Germs and “Virgin Soils”, Part II
Lecture 9 (Nov. 15): Writing, Technology and Government
Lecture 10 (Nov. 22): Around the World, Part I
Lecture 11 (Nov. 29): Around the World, Part II
Lecture 12 (Dec. 6): Is Geography (and Climate) Destiny? Part II


Marginal Revolution University. 2016. “Geography and Growth.”


– Environmental determinism, historically considered
Rodrigue, Christine M. 2002, “Four traditions of geography.”

Mises, Ludwig von. 1957. Theory and History, Chapter 15 (“Environmentalism“), pp. 324-326.

DeGregori, Thomas R. 1998. “An Updated Adam Smith / David S. Landes studies economic inequity among nations (Review of The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor, by David S. Landes. Norton, 1998),” Houston Chronicle, June 21.

– Environmental determinism, recent debates and controversies
Hausmann, Ricardo. 2001, “Prisoners of Geography,” Foreign Policy 122 (January): 45 – 53.

Pinkovskiy, Maxim, and Xavier Sala-i-Martin. 2010. “African Poverty is Falling… Much Faster than You Think.” Vox (December 6).

Sachs, Jeffrey, Andrew D. Mellinger and John L. Gallup. 2001. “The Geography of Poverty and Wealth.” Scientific American (March): 71- 75.

Matthews, Lipton. 2021. “Why Africa’s Geography Is a Barrier to Growth.” Mises Wire (July 6, 2021).

– Climate and Civilizations
Dunston, Sara. 2016. “Revealed: Cambodia’s Vast Medieval Cities Hidden Beneath the Jungle.” The Guardian (June 11).

Hampi – India. The remains of what was, not so long ago, the world’s largest city.” Atlas Obscura.

Clynes, Tom. 2018. “Exclusive: Laser Scans Reveal Maya “Megalopolis” Below Guatemalan Jungle.” National Geographic (February 1).

– Other topics
China’s Age of Invention.” PBS Nova (February 29, 2000).

Gearin, Conor. 2016. “Mongol Hordes Gave up on Conquering Europe due to Wet Weather.” New Scientist (May 26).

Holloway, April. 2014. “The White Slaves of Barbary.” Ancient Origins (October 6).

Dr. M. 2012. “How Presidential Elections are Impacted by a 100 Million Year Old Coastline.” Deep Sea News (June 27).

*Plus detailed discussion of the syllabus and course requirements.


• On the history of geographical thought

> General references

Geography” on Wikipedia.

Johnston, R.J. 2000. The Dictionary of Human Geography. Blackwell Publishers.

Martin, Geoffrey J. 2005. All Possible Worlds: A History of Geographical Ideas, 4th revised edition. Oxford University Press.

Smith, Neil. 1987, “‘Academic War over the Field of Geography’: The Elimination of Geography at Harvard, 1947-1951,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 77 (2): 155-172.

Pattison, W. D. 1964. “The Four Traditions of Geography.” Journal of Geography, Vol. 63 no. 5: 211-216.

Robinson, J. Lewis. 1976. “A New Look at the Four Traditions of Geography.” Journal of Geography, Vol. 75 no. 9: 520-530.

Rosenberg, Matt. “The Four Traditions of Geography.” About.com: Geography.

> Geographical (or Environmental) Determinism

Environmental Determinism,” Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Meyer, William B. and Dylan M. T. Guss. 2017. Neo-Environmental Determinism: Geographical Critiques. Palgrave MacMillan.

Goldberg, Jacob. 2015. “The Economic Struggles of Landlocked Countries. Why Are Only a few Landlocked Countries Successful?About.education

– Classic writings
Aristotle. 350 BC, Politics Book 7, VII

Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat. The Spirit of Laws, Volume 1, Printed for J. Nourse and P. Vaillant, 1750.

Voltaire. 1764. Philosophical Dictionary. “Climate.”

Semple, Ellen Churchill. 1911. Influences of Geographic Environment, on the basis of Ratzel’s System of Anthropogeography. H. Holt & Co.

Huntingdon, Ellsworth. 1915. Civilization and Climate. Yale University Press.

Commons, John. R. 1907. Race and Immigrants in America. MacMillan.

– Discussions of classic writings
Peet, Richard. 1985. “The Social Origins of Environmental Determinism,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 75 (3): 309-333.

Harden, Carol P. 2012. “Framing and Reframing Questions of Human-Environment Interactions.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102 (4): 737-747.

Judkins, Gabriel, Marissa Smith, Eric Keys. 2008. “Determinism Within Human-Environment Research and the Rediscovery of Environmental Causation.” The Geographical Journal 174 (1) , 17–29.

Konigsberg, Charles. 1960. “Climate and Society: A Review of the Literature.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution 4 (1): 67-82.

Livingstone, David N. 2012. “Changing Climate, Human Evolution and the Revival of Environmental Determinism,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 86, 564-595.

Radcliffe, Sarah A., Elizabeth E. Watson, Ian Simmons, Felipe Fernández-Armesto, and Andrew Sluyter. 2010. “Environmentalist Thinking and/in Geography.” Progress in Human Geography 34(1): 98-116.

Beck, Joanna Eunice. 1985. Environmental Determinism in Twentieth Century America Geography: Reflections in the Professional Journals, Volumes 1 and 2, PhD Dissertation (Geography), University of California, Berkeley.

Abramsson, C. 2013. “On the Genealogy of Lebensraum.” Geographical Helvetica 68: 37-44.

The following books have chapters on the history of environmental determinism:

Arnold, D. 1996. The Problem of Nature: Environment, Culture and European Expansion. Oxford University Press.

Barrow, C.J. 2003. Environmental Change and Human Development. Oxford University Press.

Kitchin, Rob and Nigel Thrift. 2009. International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier.

– Environmental determinism, recent debates and controversies
Gopnik, Adam. 2012, “Faces, Places, Spaces. The Renaissance of Geographic History.” The New Yorker, October 29.

• Herbert Spencer, Social Darwinism and Eugenics
-Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer, 1820-1903.” The History of Economic Thought Website.

Herbert Spencer.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP).

Is Social Darwinism a Myth?History of Economics Playground (June 4 2009) (“Reply : Tim Leonard on Social Darwinism and Mythology.” 2009. History of Economics Playground Redux (July 8))

Caplan, Bryan. 2005. “Was Herbert Spencer Reincarnated as Julian Simon?EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty, March 07.

Davies, Stephen. 2001. “Spencer’s Law: Another Reason Not to Worry.” The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty, August 1.

Goldberg, Jonah. 2012. “Fantasies of Social Darwinism.” The Weekly Standard (April 23).

Leonard, Thomas C. 2009. “Origins of the myth of social Darwinism: The ambiguous legacy of Richard Hofstadter’s Social Darwinism in American Thought.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, March 6.

Long, Roderick T. 2003. “Herbert Spencer: The Defamation Continues.” LewRockwell.com, August, 28.

Shapin, Steven. 2007. “Man with a Plan – Herbert Spencer’s theory of everything.” The New Yorker, August 13.

Wee, Alvin. 2006. “Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)” University Scholars Programme, National University of Singapore (November 6).

Wilkins, John. 2007. “The inimitable Mr Spencer.” Evolving Thoughts, August 07.

Zwolinski, Matt. 2011. A Bleeding Heart History of Libertarian Thought – Herbert Spencer.” Bleeding Heart Libertarians, November 16.

-Climate and Civilization
Ball, Tim. 2016. “A Warm Period by Any Other Name – The Climatic Optimum.” Watts Up with That? (July 31).

Wootson, Cleve R. Jr. 2018. “Mayan Civilization was Much Vaster than Known, Thousands of Newly Discovered Structures Reveal.” The Washington Post (February 3).

Brooke, John. 2012. “Climate, Human Population and Human Survival: What the Deep Past Tells Us about the Future.” Origins 5 (8).

Grunwal, Michael. 2017 “A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been.” Politico (September 8). 

Harper, Kyle. 2017. “6 Ways Climate Change and Disease Helped Topple the Roman Empire.” Vox (November 4) (See also Harper, Kyle. 2017. The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire. Princeton University Press).

Carrier, Richard. 2017. “Did the Environment Kill Rome?Richard Carrier blog (November 3).

Eugenics, Geography and Environmentalism
Cohen, Adam S. 2016. “Harvard’s Eugenics Era : When academics embraced scientific racism, immigration restrictions, and the suppression of “the unfit.”Harvard Magazine (March-April).

Conniff, Richard. 2016. “How a Notorious Racist Inspired America’s National Parks. Madison Grant was dedicated to preserving species-including the “great race.” Mother Jones (July/August).

Levy, David M. & Sandra J. Peart, “The Secret History of the Dismal Science. Part VI. Eugenics and the Amoralization of Economics.” Library of Economics and Liberty, May 13, 2002.

Saini, Angela. 2018. “Racism is Creeping Back into Mainstream Science – We Have to Stop It.” The Guardian (January 22).

Sowell, Thomas. 2012. “An Ignored ‘Disparity’.” Jewish World Review (January 17).

Tucker, Jeffrey. 2016. ” Policy Science Kills. ” Fee.org (February 8).

Tucker, Jeffrey. 2016. “The Link between Extreme Environmentalism and Hard-Core Racism.” Fee.org (July 6).

-Other Topics
Carroll, Rory. 2004. “New Book Reopens Old Arguments about Slave Raids on Europe. US scholar claims more than 1m people were captured by African pirates.” The Guardian (March 11).

• The new environmental determinists

Coombes, Paul and Keith Barber. 2005. “Environmental Determinism in Holocene Research: Causality or Coincidence? Area 37 (3): 303-311.

Cassidy, John. 2005. “Always with us – Jeffrey Sachs’s plan to eradicate world poverty.” The New Yorker, April 11.

Dell, Melissa, Benjamin F. Jones, and Benjamin A. Olken. 2014. “What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature.” Journal of Economic Literature 52 (3): 740-798.

Enrico Spolaore, Enrico and Romain Wacziarg. 2013. “How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?Journal of Economic Literature 51 (2): 325-369.

Hibbs, Douglas A. and Ola Olsson. 2004. “Geography, Biogeography, and Why some Countries are Rich and Others are Poor.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 101 (10): 3715-3720.

Jeffrey Sachs’s Website and Wikipedia entry and publications.
– 2003, “Institutions Matter, but not for everything,” Finance and Development 40 (2): 38-41.
– and Andrew D. Mellinger and John L. Gallup, 2001, “The Geography of Poverty and Wealth,” Scientific American 284 (3): 70-75.
– 2012, “Government, Geography, and Growth. The True Drivers of Economic Development.” Foreign Affairs (September/October 2012).
– 2012, “Reply to Acemoglu and Robinson’s Response to My Book Review.” jeffsachs.org (December 3). (Reply to Acemoglu and Robinson)

Landes, David S. 1998, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, W.W. Norton & Company, pp. 3 – 28 (Ch. 1: Nature’s Inequalities and Ch. 2: Answers to Geography: Europe and China).

Lora, Eduardo, Alejandro Gaviria and John Luke. 2003. Is Geography Destiny? Lessons from Latin America, Inter-American Development Bank.

Nolen, Stephanie. 2006. “Millennium Man.” The Globe and Mail, March 11.

Nunn, Nathan, & Diego Puga. 2007. “The blessing of bad geography in Africa.” Vox, 6 June.

Smith, Evan. “The End of Poverty.” Yale Economic Review, Summer 2006.

Maarten Bosker, Martin and Harry Garretsen. 2012. “Economic Geography and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa.” The World Bank Economic Review 26 (3): 443-485.

University of Bristol – Economic Growth Resources (Physical Geography and Growth).

> Critics of new environmental determinists
Critics of Jared Diamond’s work on environmental determinism are listed in lecture 12, suggested readings.

Acemoglu, Daron, and James Robinson. 2012. “Response to Jeffrey Sachs.” Why Nations Fail (November 21).

Brätland’s, John. 2009. “Geography as Causal in Societal Ascendance: An Austrian Retrospective on Diamond.” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 12 (4): 46-63.

Boettke, Peter. 2007. “Entrepreneurial Responses to Poverty and Social Conflict: The Enterprise Africa! Project.” Economic Affairs, 27 (2): 2-5.

Correia, David. 2013. “F**k Jared Diamond.” Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 24 (4): 1-6.

Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. “Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development,” Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.

Gavin, Robert. 2005. “MIT Professor Named Top Economist Under 40 – Key Study Minimizes Geography in Formation of Rich vs. Poor Nations.” The Boston Globe, June 15.

Judkins, Gabriel, Marissa Smith, Eric Keys (2008). “Determinism Within Human-Environment Research and the Rediscovery of Environmental Causation.” The Geographical Journal 174 (1) , 17–29.

Kimenyi, Mwangi S. 2007. “Markets, institutions and Millenium Development Goals.” Economic Affairs, 27 (2): 14-19.

McNeill, J. R. 2014. “Changing Climates of History.” Public Books (December 1).

Radcliffe, Sarah A. (organizing editor), Elizabeth E. Watson, Ian Simmons, Felipe Fernández-Armesto and Andrew Sluyter (contributors). 2010.
Forum: Environmentalist Thinking and/in Geography.” Progress in Human Geography 34(1): 98-116.

Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. “Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development,” CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers (later published as Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. “Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development,” Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165).

Sowell, Thomas. 2015. Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective. Basic Books.

Spolaore, Enrico and Romain Wacziarg. 2013. “How Deep are the Roots of Economic Development?Journal of Economic Literature 51 (2): 325-369.

• Environment and Diseases

See lecture 13, suggested readings, Malaria, for more readings on the history and debates surrounding malaria.

A debate in the British medical journal The Lancet (1998) on “Global warming and vector-borne disease” between Paul Epstein, Andy Haines and Paul Reiter.

A debate on “Malaria and global warming in perspective” in Emerging Infectious Diseases (2000) between Pim Martens and Paul Reiter.

Reiter, Paul. “Climate Change and Mosquito-Borne Disease.” Environmental Health Perspectives Supplements, Volume 109, Number S1, March 2001.

Reiter, Paul. 2007, “It’s Tires, Not Global Warming.” The Korea Times, October 4.

Reiter, Paul. 2003, “Could Global Warming Bring Mosquito-Borne Disease to Europe?” In Kendra Okonski (ed.), Adapt or Die: The Science, Politics and Economics of Climate Change, Profile Books, pp. 19-38.

Under the Weather: Climate, Ecosystems, and Infectious Disease. The National Academies Press, 2001. 160 pp.

Nicolaï, Henri and Yola Verhasselt. 2000. “Health and Tropical Geography.” Belgeo (1-4).


• Global warming and diseases

See lecture 12, suggested links, Malaria, for more links on the topic.

• Eugenics and Environmental Determinism

Thomas Leonard’s (economics, Princeton U) recent writings on eugenics in the American Progressive Era.

Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) Human Evolution – Timeline Interactive

PBS Nova series “The Human Spark” (2010)

Marcus, Alan P. 2021. “The Dangers of the Geographical Imagination in the U.S. Eugenics Movement. ” Geographical Review 111 (1): : 36-56.

• Environmental Determinism

Sargon of Akkad. 2016. “Re: Environmental Determinism: Crash Course Human Geography #1.” (October 26).


American Museum of Natural History. 2016.

Kuzoian, Alex. 2015. “This Animated Map Shows how Humans Migrated across the Globe.” Business Insider (May 19).

Smithsonian Channel. 2018 “Terrifying Mammals That May Have Greeted Early Humans in America.”

Cooke, Lacy. 2017. “Ancient Village Discovered in Canada is 10,000 Years Older than the Pyramids.” Inhabitat (April 17).


•Mega-Fauna Extinction
Boissoneault, Lorraine. 2017. “Are Humans to Blame for the Disappearance of Earth’s Fantastic Beasts?” Smithsonian.com.

Pearce, Fred. 2017. “Human Arrivals Wiped Out the Caribbean’s Giant Ground Sloths.” New Scientist (November 10).

Parletta, Natalie. 2020. “Unique Megafauna Fossils Unearthed in Tropical Australia. Rich site suggests climatic change, not humans, drove their extinction.” Cosmos (May 19).

•Human Origins and Ancient Migrations
-Ancient Origins

Rutherford, Adam. 2018. “The Human League: What Separates us from other Animals?The Guardian (September 21).

Pobiner, Briana and Rick Potts. 2020. “These are the Decade’s Biggest Discoveries in Human Evolution.” Smithsonian Magazine (April 28).

Lewis, Dyani. 2020. “Diverse genomes open new window into human history. Global gene sequencing effort tells of our evolutionary past.” Cosmos Magazine (March 23).

-Ancient Migrations
Bae, Christopher. 2017. “In to Asia.” Aeon.

Yirka, Bob. 2017. “Anthropologist Group Suggests First Humans to the Americas Arrived via the Kelp Highway.” Phys.org (November 3).

Daley, Jason. 2019. “Idaho Site Shows Humans Were in North America 16,000 Years Ago.” Smithsonian.com (August 30).

Anonymous. 2012. “New Book Reveals Ice Age Mariners from Europe were America’s First Inhabitants.” Smithsonian Insider (March 1).

Handwerk, Brian. 2020. “Discovery in Mexican Cave May Drastically Change the Known Timeline of Humans’ Arrival to the Americas.” Smithsonianmag.com (July 22).

Weber, Bo. 2019. “DNA Analysis Suggests Dene Descended from First North Americans.” National Post (June 5).

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Diamond, Prologue – (to, including Ch. 1) Ch. 2.


•On Human Evolution
Hawks, John. 2016. “Human Evolution is more a Muddy Delta than a Branching Tree.” Aeon (February 8).

Ridley, Matt. 2017. “The Deep Divergence in African Genomes.” RationalOptimist.com (July 5).

Warmflash, David. 2017. “Moroccan Fossils: New thinking on human evolution shaped by technological advancements.” Genetic Literacy Project (June 15). 

•Mass Extinction
American Museum of Natural History. “Mass Extinction.”

•Recent news and debates
Romero, Simon. 2014. “Discoveries Challenge Beliefs on Humans’ Arrival in the Americas.” The New York Times (March 27).

Eamer, Claire. 2017. “Archaeological Find Puts Humans in North America 10,000 Years Earlier Than Thought.” Hakai Magazine (January 13).

•On Human Origins and Ancient Migrations
Human Origins (Ancient History)

Taub, Matthew. 2018 “Found: Remains of a Half-Neanderthal, Half-Denisovan Ancient Human.” Atlas Obscura (August 22).

Brodwin, Erin. 2017. “300,000-year-old Skulls that Look Shockingly like Ours could Rewrite the Human Origin Story.” The Independent (November 10).

Laskow, Sarah. 2017. “The Oldest Known Homo Sapiens Fossils Now Come From North Africa.” Atlas Obscura (June 7).

Mooallem, Jon. 2017. “Neanderthals were People Too.” New York Times (January 11).

Guarino, Ben. 2017. “Oldest Homo sapiens Fossils Discovered in Morocco.” Washington Post (June 7).

Viegas, Jennifer. 2015. “Big-Toothed Fossil May Be Primitive New Human.” Discovery News (January 27).

Heltzel, Paul. 2014. “‘Hobbit’ Human May Have Had Down Syndrome.” Discovery News (August 4).

Zimmer, Carl. 2013. “Toe Fossil Provides Complete Neanderthal Genome.” The New York Times (December 18).

Zimmer, Carl. 2013. “Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins.” The New York Times (December 4).

US National Academy of Sciences. 2010. Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution. National Academy Press.

McKie, Robin. 2010. “How a hobbit is rewriting the history of the human race.” The Observer, 21 February.

Schmid, Randolph E. 2009. “Before Lucy came Ardi, new earliest hominid found.” Yahoo! News, October 1st.

Chabris, Christopher F. 2009. “Last-Minute Changes – Scientific orthodoxy says that human evolution stopped a long time ago. Did it?The Wall Street Journal, February 12.

Schmid, Randolph E. 2008. “Poop Fossil Pushes Back Date for Earliest Americans.” Discovery News, April 3.

Trinkaus, Erik. 2005. “Early Modern Humans.” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 34: 207-30, October.

Mayell, Hillary. “Documentary Redraws Humans’ Family Tree.” National Geographic News, January 21, 2003.

Wade, Nicholas. 2002. “The Human Family Tree: 10 Adams and 18 Eves.” New York Times, May 2.

Piore, Adam. 2020. “How We Learned to Love Neanderthals.and a Lot of Other Hominids, Too. Genetic analysis reveals a complex tale of migrations and cross-species trysts in our human past.” Nautilus (April).

Gibbons, Ann. 2017. “World’s oldest Homo sapiens fossils found in Morocco.” Science (June 7).

Ancient Migrations (Global)

Antón, Susan C. and Carl C. Swisher III, 2004, “Early Dispersals of HOMO from Africa,” Annual Review of Anthropology 33: 271-296.

Frost, Natasha. 2018. “The Sad Story of the Moriori, Who Learned to Live at the Edge of the World. How the remoteness of the Chatham Islands forged a resilient people.” Atlas Obscura (March 6).

Herman, Doug. 2014. “How the Voyage of the Kon-Tiki Misled the World About Navigating the Pacific.” Smithsonian Magazine (September 4).

Olena, Abby. 2018. “All Native Americans Descended from One Ancestral Population.” The Scientist (January 3).

Manning, Patrick. “Homo sapiens Populates the Earth: A Provisional Synthesis, Privileging Linguistic Evidence.” Journal of World History, Vol. 17, Issue 2.

Pringle, Heather. 2008. “Did Humans Colonize the World by Boat?Discover Magazine, May 20.

Rincon, Paul. 2006. “Early Humans Followed the Coast.” BBC News, October 5.

Semeniuk, Ivan. 2018. “Ancient Genes Reveal First Americans Separated and Reunited on their Way South.” The Globe & Mail (May 31).

Stix, Gary. 2008. “The Migration History of Humans: DNA Study Traces Human Origins Across the Continents.” Scientific American Magazine, July 7.

Warsh, David. 2007. “Putting the (Molecular) Clock on Development.” Economic Principals, August 26.

Ancient Migrations (North America)

Cressey, Daniel. 2008. “Unexpected origin of an early Eskimo.” Nature News, May 29.

Day, Matthew. 2012. “Stone-age Europeans ‘were the first to set foot on North America’.” The Telegraph (February 28).

Wade, Nicholas. 2010. “Ancient Man in Greenland Has Genome Decoded.” The New York Times, February 10.

Preston, Douglas. 2014. “The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets.” Smithsonian Magazine (September).

University Of South Carolina. 2014. “New Evidence Puts Man in North America 50,000 Years Ago.” ScienceDaily (18 November).

Hodges, Glen. 2015. “Tracking the First Americans.” National Geographic (January).

•Megafauna Extinction

Extraterrestrial Impact Likely Source of Sudden Ice Age Extinctions.” Brown University, September 24, 2007.

Holocene Extinction Event

•Anthropogenic factors

Australian Debates and Perspectives
Megafauna Extinction – patterns of extinction
Megafauna Extinction – people theory
Megafauna Extinction

Amos Esty, 2005, “Investigating a Mega-Mystery.” American Scientist Online, September-October.

Cooke, S. et al. 2017. “Anthropogenic Extinction Dominates Holocene Declines of West Indian Mammals.” Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 48:301-327.

George Washington University. 2009. “Mass Extinction: Why did half of N. America’s large mammals disappear 40,000 to 10,000 years ago?ScienceDaily (November 27).

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2019. “Mammoth skeletons and 15,000-year-old human-built traps found in Mexico.” (November 7).

Wroe, Stephen, Judith Field , Richard Fullagar and Lars S. Jermin. 2004. “Megafaunal Extinction in the late Quaternary and the Global Overkill Hypothesis.” Alcheringa 28 (1): 291-331.

Brook, Barry and David M. J. S. Bowman. 2004. “The Uncertain Blitzkrieg of Pleistocene Megafauna.” Journal of Biogeography 31 (4): 517-523.

Nagaoka, Lisa, Torben Rick and Steve Wolverton. “The Overkill Model and its Impact on Environmental Research.” Ecology and Evolution 8 (19): 9683-9696.

•On the Hunting-Gathering Lifestyle

DeGregori, Thomas R. 1998, “Back to the Future: A Review Article of Limited Wants, Unlimited Means: A Reader on Hunter-Gatherer Economics and the Environment, edited by John Gowdy, Island Press,” Journal of Economic Issues 32 (4): 1153-1161.

Krech III, Shepherd. 1999, The Ecological Indian, Myth and History, W.W. Norton & Company, pp. 29-43 (Ch. 1: Pleistocene Extinctions).

Smith, Vernon L. 1993, “Humankind in Prehistory: Economy, Ecology and Institutions.” In The Political Economy of Customs and Culture, edited by Terry Anderson and Randy Simmons, Rowman and Littlefield Press, pp. 157-184.

•On Yali and the Cargo Cult

More information on one of the main characters in Guns, Germs, and Steel, the Papua New Guinean politician Yali Singina (1912-75), can be found on the anthropological blog Savage Minds.
About Yali
On cargo and cults – and Yali’s Question
Diamond’s Argument about the Haves and Have-Nots

More detailed histories of the cargo cult and more information on Yali are available here, here and here.

Sullivan, Nancy. 2010. “Tari’s Question.” Nineteen Years and Counting in Papua New Guinea.

•The Bell Curve and IQ Debates

The Bell Curve,” on Wikipedia.

Auster, Lawrence. 2007. “Michael Hart and the Role of IQ in Human History.” View from the Right, September 30.

Flynn, James R. 2007. “Shattering Intelligence: Implications for Education and Interventions.” Cato Unbound, November 5th.

Heckman, James. J. 1995. “Cracked Bell.” Reason (March).

Murray, Charles. 2005. “The Inequality Taboo.” Commentary, September.

Nugent, Helen. 2007. “Black People ‘Less Intelligent’ Scientist Claims.” Times Online, October 17.

Syal, Rajeev. 2007. “Nobel Scientist Who Sparked Race Row Says Sorry — I Didn’t Mean It.” Times Online, October 19.

Tierney, John. 2016. “The Real War on Science. The Left has done far more than the Right to set back progress.” City Journal (Autumn).

•Ancient DNA Studies and Cultural-Historical Anthropology

Reich, David. 2018. Who We Are and How We Got Here. Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past. Random House (Wikipedia entry).

Diamond, Jared. 2018. “A Brand-New Version of Our Origin Story: Who We Are and How We Got Here. Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past By David Reich.” The New York Times (April 20).

Littlefoot’s Anthro Blog. 2019. “David Reich and The New York Times.” (January 19).
Moser, Cody. 2019. “Is Science Racist?Areo (January 18).

McNeill, John Robert 2012. “Chapter 1: Global Environmental History: The First 150,000 Years.” In J. R. McNeill and Erin Stewart Mauldin (eds). A Companion to Global Environmental History. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 3-17.


Human Origins (Ancient History)

National Museum of Natural History’s (Smithsonian Institution)
What Does It Mean to be Human
Human Evolution Research
Human Timeline Interactive
Human Characteristics

Human Origins (North America)

More to come

Ancient Migrations (Global)

Atlas of the Human Journey – The Genographic Project.” National Geographic.

The Journey of Mankind on the Bradshaw Foundation website.

The Great Human Odyssey (CBC The Nature of Things, 2015). 

Ancient Migrations (North America)

A 2004 NOVA (PBS) episode on America’s Stone Age Explorers.

Kennewick Man

Kennewick Man on Trial (Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture)

Megafauna extinction

A 1997 American Museum of Natural History symposium on “Humans and Other Catastrophes” that looked at the possible causes of past extinctions and on how lessons from past extinctions could help us set policy for preventative action today.

Discovery Channel :: What Killed the Mega Beasts? online


Exceptionally this semester, I will ask you to watch episode 2 of the PBS-National Geographic Series on Guns, Germs and Steel on your own: – video | – summary | – full transcript

Wade, Lizzie. 2018. “Feeding the Gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital.” Science (June 21).

POLICYed. 2020. “Original Indigenous Economies.” (April 21).

Chief Sitting Bull vs Colonel Nelson Miles (Excerpt from the 2007 movie Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee).


Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapter 3

Critique of Diamond’s account of military history
Raudzens, George. 1999, “Military Revolution or Maritime Evolution? Military Superiorities or Transportation Advantages as Main Causes of European Colonial Conquests to 1788,” (Please access this article through the UofT library website) The Journal of Military History 63 (3): 631-641.

Mann, Charles C. 2015. “What Endures From the Ancient Civilizations That Once Ruled the Central Andes?” Smithsonian.com (July 22).

Rubenstein, Hymie. 2017. “The Myth of Indigenous Utopia.” C2C Journal (November 8). 

Shoalts, Adam. 2011. “Reverse Colonialism – How the Inuits Conquered the Vikings.” Canadian Geographic (March 8).

Sinclair, Niigaan. 2017. “Indigenous Nationhood can Save the World. Here’s How.” The Globe & Mail (Revised, November 17).

Calixtlahuaca – Atlas Obscura


•On Diamond’s Historical Narrative

Raudzens, George (ed.), 2003, Technology, Disease, and Colonial Conquests, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries: Essays Reappraising the Guns and Germs Theories. Brill Academic Publishers.

•Historical Facts and Debates
-Norse and Inuits
Arden G Christen, Arden G. and Joan A. Christen. 2011. “The Unicorn and the Narwhal: A tale of the Tooth.” Journal of the History of Dentistry 59 (3): 135-142.

Pringle, Heather. 2012. “Vikings and Native Americans.” National Geographic (November).

-Chinese Treasure Ship Fleets
Finlay, Robert. “How Not to (Re)Write World History: Gavin Menzies and the Chinese Discovery of America.” Journal of World History, Vol. 15, Issue 2.

Gunde, Richard. 2004. “Zheng He’s Voyages of Discovery” UCLA International Institute, April 20.

Wake, Christopher. 2004. “The Myth of Zheng He’s Great Treasure Ships.” International Journal of Maritime History 16 (1): 59-75.

–. 2008. “Gavin Menzies: Mad as a Snake – or a Visionary?Telegraph, August 1st.

-Inca Empire and Social System
McEwan, Francis Gordon. 2006. The Incas: New Perspectives. ABC-Clio.

Hyland, Sabine. 2003. The Jesuit & the Incas: The Extraordinary Life of Padre Blas Valera, S. J. The University of Michigan Press, Chapter One.

Baudin, Louis. 1961. A Socialist Empire. The Incas of Peru. D. Van Nostrand Company.

Hevesi, Dennis. 2006. “John V. Murra, 90, Professor Who Recast Image of Incas, Dies.” New York Times (October 24). 

Ferrara, Scott. 2017. “Photos of the Peruvian Festival That Creates a New 118-Foot Bridge Every Year: A centuries-old tradition brings Inca infrastructure into the present.” Atlast Obscura.

-Aztec Empire and Social System
Weston Phippen, J. 2017. “Archeologists in Mexico Find an Aztec Tower of Skulls.” The Atlantic (July 3).

Taylor, Peter Shawn. 2019. “Does Cortés’ Conquest of Mexico Require an Apology, Or a Thank-You?C2C (May 7).

North America
Goska, Danusha V. 2017. “Taboo Truths about the Comanche.” FontPage Mag (October 11). 

Sturgis, Amy H. 2020. “Indians and Aliens: Human beings’ disturbing capacity to manufacture history to serve our own ends.” Reason (August/September).

Smith, Kiona. 2018. “Find shows 4,000-year-old trade routes stretched from Carolinas to Great Lakes.” Ars Technica (July 31).

Western, Samuel. 2016. “Trade Among Tribes: Commerce on the Plains before Europeans Arrived.” WyoHistory (April 26).

Gade, Gene. 2021. “The VBJ and the Apache Odyssey.” Vore Buffalo Jump Newsletter (May).

Government of Canada. Undated. “Warfare In Pre-Columbian North America.”

Strauss, Mark. 2016. “Discovery Could Rewrite History of Vikings in New World.” National Geographic (March 31). 

Fynn-Paul, Jeff. 2020. “The Myth of the ‘Stolen Country.’ What should the Europeans have done with the New World?The Spectator (Magazine) (September 26).


NOVA – The Great Inca Rebellion – PBS


Thompson, Niobe. 2009. Inuit Odyssey. CBC – The Nature of Things.

Morrison, David. 1997. “The Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic, From Ancient Times to 1902.” Canadian Museum of Civilization
From Ancient Times. Early Thule Culture


BBC Scotland. 2012. How to Grow a Planet – Episode 3: The Challenger (Göbekli Tepe and the domestication of wheat).

WPSU. 2009. Apple Grafting.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. 2011. Pawpaw Trees and their Tasty Fruit: A Moment of Science


Lecture 4

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapter 4

•Agricultural History
University of Sheffield. 2017. “Why did Hunter-gatherers First Begin Farming?” Phys.org (May 16).

Lewis, Dyani. 2019. “We’ve been Changing the Planet for Thousands of Years.” Cosmos (August 30). 

Caradonna, Jeremy. 2016. “How Old is Agriculture? (And Just What IS Agriculture?)History News Network (December 6).

Wallace, Eric J. 2019. “The Moroccan Food Forest That Inspired an Agricultural Revolution. These ancient forest gardens may be more relevant than ever.” Atlas Obscura (April 1).

-Worst Mistake?
Diamond, Jared. 1987. “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.” Discover Magazine, May, pp. 64-66.

Laudan, Rachel. 2018. “With the Grain : Against the New Paleo Politics.” Breakthrough Journal (vol. 9, Summer).

Bliss, Sam. 2019. “There Is No Anti-Grain Consensus. A response to Rachel Laudan’s “With the Grain”.” Breakthrough Journal (vol. 10, Winter).

Laudan, Rachel. 2019. ” Grain for All: The Case Against Repeasantization.” Breakthrough Journal (vol. 11, Summer).

•On hunting-gathering
Buckner, William. 2017. “Romanticizing the Hunter-Gatherer.” Quillette (December 16).  

Taub, Matthew. 2019. “How Long Have Dogs Been Helping Us Hunt? New findings in Jordan indicate that they’ve been assisting us for nearly 12,000 years.” Atlas Obscura (January 16).

Azihari, Ferghane. 2020. “Hunter-Gatherers Ravaged the Environment. Industrialization Saved It.” Mises Wire (January 1).

Lecture 5

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapters 5-7

CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture). “Where our Food Crops Come From” (Interactive website).

The story of wheat – Ears of plenty.” The Economist,  December 20, 2005. *Please access it using the UofT library website.

Bradt, Steve. 2005. “Ancient Humans brought Bottle Gourds to the Americas from Asia. Plants Widely Used as Containers Arrived, Already Domesticated, Some 10,000 Years Ago.” Harvard University Gazette (December 15).

Gattuso, Reina. 2019. “The Promise and Perils of Resurrecting Native Americans’ Lost Crops.” Atlas Obscura (April 4).

Lecture 6

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapters 8-10

Jarvis, Anne. 2012. “Planting my pawpaw.” Windsor Star (April 18).


• Diamond’s Update

Diamond, Jared. 2002. “Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication.” Nature 418, p. 700-707, 8 August.

• Hunting and Gathering Controversy

Caldwell, John C., & Caldwell, Bruce K. 2003. “Was There a Neolithic Mortality Crisis?Journal of Population Research, Vol. 20, No.2.

Diamond, Jared. 1987. “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.” Discover Magazine, May, p. 64-66.

DeGregori, Thomas R. 1998, “Back to the Future: A Review Article of Limited Wants, Unlimited Means: A Reader on Hunter-Gatherer Economics and the Environment, edited by John Gowdy, Island Press,” Journal of Economic Issues 32 (4): 1153-1161.

Krech III, Shepherd. 1999, The Ecological Indian, Myth and History, W.W. Norton & Company, pp. 29-43 (Ch. 1: Pleistocene Extinctions).

Lanchester, John. 2017. “The Case Against Civilizatio. Did our hunter-gatherer ancestors have it better?The New Yorker (September 18).

Smith, Vernon L. 1993, “Humankind in Prehistory: Economy, Ecology and Institutions.” In The Political Economy of Customs and Culture, edited by Terry Anderson and Randy Simmons, Rowman and Littlefield Press, pp. 157-184.

Elligson, Ter. 2001. The Myth of the Noble Savage. University of California Press (Summary in Hill, Amelia. 2001. “Racists Created the Noble Savage.” The Guardian (April 15).

Hames, Raymond. 2007. “The Ecologically Noble Savage Debate.” Annual Review of Anthropology 36: 177-190 https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev.anthro.35.081705.123321

Ted Kaczynski, Ted. 2008. The Truth About Primitive Life: A Critique of Anarchoprimitivism (Yes, this is really the Unabomber but he knows a lot about living off the land.)

Corry, Stephen. 2013. “Savaging Primitives: Why Jared Diamond’s “The World Until Yesterday” is Completely Wrong.” The Daily Beast (January 30).

Kaplan, David. 2000. “The Darker Side of the ‘Original Affluent Society’.” Journal of Anthropological Research 56 (3): 301-324.

O’Connell, Sanjida. 2009. “Is Farming the Root of All Evil?The Telegraph (June 23).

Antrosio, Jason, 2011. “Agriculture as ‘Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race’?Living Anthropologically (last updated 6 October 2017).

Antrosio, Jason, 2011. “Many Ways of Gathering and Hunting.” Living Anthropologically (last updated 1 February 2018).

Wood, Jim. 2013. “A Few Words in Defense of Farming.” The Mermaid’s Tale (November 14).

Harari, Yuval Noah. 2014. “Were we Happier in the Stone Age?The Guardian (September 5).

Harari, Yuval Noah. “Ecology.”

Curnoe, Darren. 2017. ” Was Agriculture the Greatest Blunder in Human History?The Conversation (October 18).

Laudan, Rachel. 2016. “Was the Agricultural Revolution a Terrible Mistake? Not If You Take Food Processing Into Account.” Rachel Laudan (January 21).

• Early Farmers and the Development of Agriculture

Fuller, Dorian Q. 2006. “Agricultural Origins and Frontiers in South Asia: A Working Synthesis.” Journal of World Prehistory 20 (1): 1-86.

Gupta, Anil K. 2004. “Origin of agriculture and domestication of plants and animals linked to early Holocene climate amelioration.” Current Science 87 (1): 54-59.

Kirch, Patrick V. 2005. “Archeology and Global Change: The Holocene Record,” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30: 409-440.

Mann, Charles C. 2005. “Archaeology: Oldest Civilization in the Americas Revealed.” Science 7 January: Vol. 307. no. 5706, pp. 34 – 35.

Prakash, Channapatna S. 2001, “The Genetically Modified Crop Debate in the Context of Agricultural Evolution,” Plant Physiology 126: 8-15.

Pringle, Heather. 1998, “The Slow Birth of Agriculture,” Science 282 (5393): 1446.

Stephens, James M. 2009 (1994). “Gourd, Bottle – Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Standl.” University of Florida IFAs Extension HS602.

Larson, G. et al. 2014. “The Modern View Of Domestication (Special Feature)” PNAS 111 (17) (April) (April 2014) (several articles).

Viegas, Jennifer. 2015. “Oldest Dog Turns out to be a Wolf.” Discovery News (February 5).

Weisdorf, Jacob L. 2005. “From Foraging to Farming: Explaining the Neolithic Revolution.” Journal of Economic Surveys 19 (4): 561-586.

Spengler III, Richard N. 2020. “Opinion: Anthropogenic Seed Dispersal: Rethinking the Origins of Plant.” Trends in Plant Science 25 (4): 340-348.

McHugo, Gilles P., Michael J. Dover and David E. MacHugh. 2019. “Unlocking the Origins and Biology of Domestic Animals Using Ancient DNA and Paleogenomics.” BMC Biology volume 17, Article 98.

• Eastern Agricultural Complex

Hirst, K. Kris. “Eastern Agricultural Complex.” About.com: archaeology.

Eastern Agricultural Complex.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

• The Columbian Exchange

Columbian Exchange.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Spud we like – In praise of the humble but world-changing tuber.” The Economist, February 28, 2008.

History of the potato – Wonder-food.” The Economist, February 28, 2008.

Crosby, Alfred W. “The Columbian Exchange.” History Now, Issue 12, June 2007.

Crosby, Alfred W. “The Columbian Exchange: Plants, Animals, and Disease between the Old and New Worlds.” National Humanities Center.

Findlay, Ronald, and Kevin O’Rourke. 2006. “Mr Columbus’s Economic Bombshell.” BBC History, May, p. 41-43.

Grennes, Thomas. 2007. “The Columbian Exchange and the Reversal of Fortune.” Cato Journal 27 (1): 91-107.

Nunn, Nathan and Nancy Qian. 2010. “The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food and Ideas.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 24 (2): 163-188.

• Current controversies

> I have posted several links on current agricultural controversies on my GGR 387 (Food and Globalization) webpage.

Miller, F. P. 2008. “After 10,000 Years of Agriculture, Whither Agronomy?Agronomy Journal, 100: S-40-S-52.

Harari, Yuval Noah. 2014. “Were we Happier in the Stone Age?The Guardian (September 5).

Ellis, Erle C., Jed O. Kaplan, Dorian Q. Fuller, Steve Vavrus, Kees Klein Goldewijk and Peter H. Verburg. 2013. “Used Planet: A Global History.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (20): 7978-7985.


Natural History Museum (UK)
Seeds of Trade

Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CORA), Cornell University

Çatalhöyük – Excavations of a Neolithic Anatolian Höyük

The Food Timeline

History of Food & Agriculture

International Year of Natural Fibres 2009

The Cambridge World History of Food (Edited by Kenneth F. Kiple and Krimhild Conee Ornelas)

Science Tracer Bullets Online – Food History (Library of Congress)

The Food Timeline

International Potato Center

International Year of the Potato 2008


Exceptionally this semester, I will ask you to watch episode 1 of the PBS-National Geographic Series on Guns, Germs and Steel on your own: Video; Summary; Full transcript.

Quartz News. 2019. “Episode 26 – Ancient Civilizations can Show Us how to Protect the Amazon.”

Discovery UK. 2018. “The Eradication Of Smallpox.”

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.


Lecture 7

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapter 11

•Europe – Dark and Middle Ages
Lévèque, Christian. 2020. “Viewpoint: The Dark Side of Biodiversity-Why living ‘in harmony’ with nature is a fantasy.” Genetic Literacy Project (April 13).

Watts, Edward. 2020. “What Rome Learned from the Deadly Antonine Plague of 165 AD.” Smithsonian Magazine (April 28).

Cartwright, Mark. 2020. “Black Death.” Ancient History Encyclopedia (March 28).

Twentieth Century

Black, Tim. 2020. “The Making of a Global Pandemic. How the Spanish Flu was turned into an anticipation of the apocalypse.” Spiked! (May 8).

Tucker, Jeffrey A. 2020. “No Lockdowns: The Terrifying Polio Pandemic of 1949-52.AIER (May 10).

Smil, Vaclav. 2020. “Pandemic Memories and Mortalities.” IEEE Spectrum (October): 16-17.

Lecture 8

•Diseases and Civilization
Mann, Charles C. 2002, “1491,” The Atlantic 289 (3): 41-53. (see also Gene Expression. 2011. “10 Questions Charles C. Mann.” Discover Magazine, September 3.)

Pringle, Heather. 1998, “The Sickness of the Mummies.” Discover (December) (Due to new copyright rules, please access the article through the UofT library website).

Pearce, Fred. 2013. “True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild.” Yale 360 Environment (May 13).

Koch, Alexander et al. 2019. “European Colonisation of the Americas Killed 10% of World Population and Caused Global Cooling.” The Conversation (January 31).

— Canada and USA
Spaulding, William B. (2015/2006) “Smallpox.” Canadian Encyclopedia.

Houston, C. Stuart and Stan Houston. 2000. “The First Smallpox Epidemic on the Canadian Plains: In the fur-traders’ words.” Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases 11(2): 112-115.

Hopper, Tristin. 2017. “Everyone was Dead: When Europeans First Came to B.C., They Stepped into the Aftermath of a Holocaust.” National Post (February 21).

Ostroff, Joshua. 2017. “How a Smallpox Epidemic Forged Modern British Columbia.” MacLean’s (August 1).

Kelly, David. 2018. “Archaeologists Explore a Rural Field in Kansas, and a Lost City Emerges.” Los Angeles Times (August 19).

Taylor, Peter Shawn and Greg Piasetzki. 2018. “The 19th-century Indigenous Policy Success Story We’ve Forgotten. The vaccination of native populations against smallpox was one of Canada’s most impressive, if least-acknowledged, public-health feats.” National Post (March 28).

Tutton, Mark, Holly Brown and Samantha Bresnahan. 2019. “Is Ted Turner the real Captain Planet? Best known as the media mogul who founded CNN, Ted Turner is also a conservationist, dedicated to restoring native wildlife in the United States.” CNN (September 27).

— Mexico and Central America
Zhang, Sarah. 2018. “A New Clue to the Mystery Disease That Once Killed Most of Mexico. The evidence comes from the 16th-century victims’ teeth.” The Atlantic (January 15).

BBC News. 2018. “Sprawling Maya Network Discovered under Guatemala Jungle.” BBC News (February 2).

— South America
Meyer, Robinson. 2017. “The Amazon Rainforest Was Profoundly Changed by Ancient Humans. The region’s ecology is a product of 8,000 years of indigenous agriculture.” The Atlantic (March 2).

University of Exeter. 2018 “Ancient Farmers Transformed Amazon and Left an Enduring Legacy on the Rainforest.” Science Daily (July 23).

University of Exeter. 2018. “Parts of the Amazon Thought Uninhabited were Actually Home to Up to a Million People.” Science Daily (March 27).

Panko, Ben. 2017. “The Supposedly Pristine, Untouched Amazon Rainforest Was Actually Shaped By Humans. Over thousands of years, native people played a strong role in molding the ecology of this vast wilderness.” Smithsonian.com (March 3).

McGrath, Matt. 2020. “Crops were Cultivated in Regions of the Amazon ‘10,000 years ago’.” BBC News (April 20).

Nelson, Robert H. 2003, “Environmental Colonialism: ‘Saving’ Africa from Africans,” The Independent Review 8(1): 65-86.

Sikkema, Albert. 2016. “Shades of Colonialism in the War on Poaching.” Resource WR (March 23).

•Eurasia “before” Americas
Green, Monica. 2018. “Black as Death (Review essay of Bruce Campbell’s The Great Transition: Climate, Disease and Society in the Late-Medieval World.) Inference 4 (1) (Responses and Rejoinder: Curtis, Roosen and Green; Paulus and Green).


•Diseases and Civilization
Lewy, Guenter. 2004. “Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide?History News Network (September) (Originally published in Commentary).

Anderson, Terry. 1996. Conservation Native American Style. PERC (July 1).

Simmons, Randy T. 2005. “Nature Undisturbed – The Myth Behind the Endangered Species Act,” Perc Report, 23 (1).

— Canada
Hackett, Paul. 2004. “Averting Disaster: The Hudson’s Bay Company and Smallpox in Western Canada during the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 78 (3) : 575-609.

Ladley, Jane. 2020. “Anishinabe Knew Secret to Winter Warmth along Grand River: Cattails.” MLive (November 17).

— United States
Johnson, Madeleine. 2012. “The Pilgrims Should Have Been Thankful for a Spirochete. A gruesome disease granted them uninhabited, cleared land and a sweet brook.” Slate (November 20).

— Mexico and Central America
Guarino. Ben. 2018. “This Major Discovery Upends Long-held Theories about the Maya Civilization.” Washington Post (September 27).

Stutz, Bruce. 2006. “Megadeath in Mexico.” Discover, Vol. 27 No. 02 (February).

— South America
University of Exeter. 2017. “Hundreds of Ancient Earthworks Built in the Amazon.” Science Daily (February 6).

Wade, Lizzie. 2014. “Searching for the Amazon’s Hidden Civilizations.” Science (January 7).

McKey, Doyle and Stéphen Rostain. 2015. “Farming Technology in Amazonia.” Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer.

Hotz, Robert Lee. 2018. “Satellites Reveal Ancient Civilization Beneath the Amazon Rainforest.” The Wall Street Journal (March 27).

Black, Edwin. 2016. “In Germany’s Extermination Program for Black Africans, A Template for the Holocaust.” The Times of Israel (May 5) (read up to “Africa comes to Germany”).

Steers, Julia. (Undated). “Mordecai Ogada’s “People First” Mantra Rankles Fellow Conservationists, whom WHe Compares to Colonists.” Ozy.

Schulz Richard, Katherine. (Date unknown) “The Global Impacts of the Black Death.” About.com.

Hankins, James. 2020. “Social Distancing During the Black Death.” Quillette (March 28).

Wazer, Caroline. 2016. “The Plagues That Might Have Brought Down the Roman Empire. Bioarcheologists are getting better at measuring the toll of ancient pathogens.” The Atlantic (March 16).

•Twentieth Century Pandemics
Kilbourne, Edwin D. 2006. “Influenza Pandemics of the 20th Century.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 12 (1): 9-14.

•Modern Advances
Pickrell, Ryan. 2017. “Doctors found Parasites They’d Never Seen Before Inside the North Korean Soldier who Bolted at the DMZ.” The Daily Caller (November 16).

Keim, Brandon 2008. “Remembering Thomas Weller, Unappreciated Vaccine Hero.” Wired, August 27.

Newman, Laura. 2005. “Maurice Hilleman.” British Medical Journal 330(7498): 1028.

Essert, Matt. 2014. “How Americans Died in 1900 vs. Today, in One Chart.” News.Mic (June 8).

Rothstein, Aaron. 2015. “Vaccines and their Critics, Then and Now.” The New Atlantis (Winter).

Winter, Lisa. 2014. “One Map Sums Up The Damage Caused By The Anti-Vaccination Movement.” IFL Science (January 24).

Willingham, Emily and Laura Helft. 2014. “What is Herd Immunity?Nova (September 5).

How Herd Immunity Works.” Imgur

•Travels and Diseases

Kobler, Stacey et al. (Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Microbial Threats). 2006. The Impact of Globalization on Infectious Disease Emergence and Control Exploring the Consequences and Opportunities. Washington (DC): National Academies Press.

Wilson, Mary D. 1995. “Travel and the Emergence of Infectious Diseases.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 1 (2).

•On diseases and colonial expansion generally

Jones, David S. 2003. “Virgin Soils Revisited.” William and Mary Quarterly 60 (4): 703-742.

Francis Joseph Brooks, 2003, “The Impact of Disease,” in George Raudzens (ed.), Technology, Disease, and Colonial Conquests, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries: Essays Reappraising the Guns and Germs Theories, Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 127-165.

Linda Newson, 2003, “Pathogens, Places and Peoples: Geographical Variations in the Impact of Disease in Early Spanish America and the Philippines,” in George Raudzens (ed.), Technology, Disease, and Colonial Conquests, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries: Essays Reappraising the Guns and Germs Theories, Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 167-210.

Symposium on Massimo livi Bacci’s Conquest and El Dorado, Population and Development Review 37 (1) 2011.

•Debates on the importance of diseases in the conquest of Mexico

Acuna-Soto, Rodolfo, David W. Stahle, Malcolm K. Cleaveland, and Matthew D. Therrell. 2002. “Megadrought and Megadeath in 16th Century Mexico.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 8 (4) (April).

Acuna-Sotoa, Rodofo, David W. Stahle, Matthew D. Therrell, Richard D. Griffin, Malcolm K. Cleveland. “When half of the population died: the epidemic of hemorrhagic fevers of 1576 in Mexico.” FEMS Microbiology Letters, Vol. 240 Issue 1, November 2004.

Acuna-Sotoa, Rodofo, Leticia Calderon Romero, and James H. Maguire. “Large Epidemics of Hemorrhagic Fever in Mexico 1545–1815.” American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 62(6), 2000, pp. 733–739.

Brooks, Francis Joseph. 1993, “Revising the Conquest of Mexico: Smallpox, Sources, and Populations,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 24 (1): 1-29.

Johnson, Charles William. 2006. “Cocoliztli or Cocolitzli? Indigenous Hemorrhagic Fever and The Spanish Conquest.” Earth/matriX, February 3.

Lloyd, Marion. 2006. “Disease Tracker Wants to Rewrite Mexican History.” BanderasNews, October issue.

McCaa, Robert. 1995, “Spanish and Nahuatl Views on Smallpox and Demographic Catastrophe in Mexico,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 25 (3): 397-431.

•Animal Diseases

Scott, Gordon R. “The Murrain Now Known As Rinderpest.” Newsletter of the Tropical Agriculture Association, U.K., 20 (4) 14-16 (2000).

History of battle against rinderpest, Animal Production and Health (APH),” Joint FAO/IAEA Programme.

•Broad Academic Overviews

Balée, William. 2006. “The Research Program of Historical Ecology.” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 35: 75-98 (October).

Jones, David S. 2004. Rationalizing Epidemics. Meanings and Uses of American Indian Mortality since 1600. Harvard University Press.

Stahl, Peter W. 1996. “Holocene Biodiversity: An Archaeological Perspective from the Americas,” Annual Review of Anthropology (October), Vol. 25, Pages 105-126.

Hames, Raymond. 2007. “The Ecologically Noble Savage Debate.” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 36: 177-190.

•On Charles Mann’s 1491

Mann, Charles C. 2005. 1491. New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus. C-SPAN Book TV (September 6) (Video).

Anonymous. 2006. “Reflections on Charles Mann’s 1491” Geographical Review 96 (3): 478-513.

Coe, Michael D. 2006. “The Old New World.” American Scientist (July-August).

LaCombe, Michael A. “Separate but Equal?” Review of Charles C. Mann’s 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.

Sturgis, Amy. 2006. “The Myth of the Passive Indian – Was America before Columbus just a “continent of patsies”?Reason magazine (April).

•Foreign Diseases, Native Americans and Ecological Disturbances

Population History of American Indigenous Peoples.” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Secret of El Dorado – Transcript.” Horizon (BBC).

Barlow, Jos et al. 2012. “How Pristine are Tropical Forests? An ecological perspective on the pre-Columbian human footprint in Amazonia and implications for contemporary conservation.” Biological Conservation 151 (1): 45-49.

Bermejo , J.E. Hernández, and J. León. Neglected Crops – 1492 from a Different Perspective, FAO Plant Production and Protection Series, no. 26.

Binnema, Theodore. 2000. “Disease History on the Northwest Coast: A Microcosm, or a Unique Region?” (Review of Robert Boyd’s The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence: Introduced Infectious Diseases and Population Decline among Northwest Coast Indians 1774-1874), H-Net Review (April).

Bosveld, Jane. 2008. “Top 100 Stories of 2008 #15: The Lost Cities of the Amazon.” Discover Magazine, December 20.

Bowser, David. 2003. “Ecologist Debunks Popular Myth Of ‘Pristine West’ With Facts,” Livestock Weekly, July 3.

Florida Institute of Technology. 2017. “Ancient Human Disturbances may Skew Understanding of Amazon and its Impact (Update).” Phys.org (January 10).

Heckenberger, Michael, and Eduardo Góes Neves, “Amazonian Archaeology. ” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 38: 251-266 (Volume October 2009).

Hunn, Eugene S. “In Defense of ‘The Ecological Indian’,” paper presented at the Ninth International Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies, Edinburgh, Scotland, September 9, 2002.

Kay, Charles E. 2003, “Lewis and Clark: Aboriginal Overkill, and the Myth of Once Abundant Wildlife,” Proceedings of the Conference “A Confluence of Cultures: Native Americans and the Expedition of Lewis and Clark,” May 28-30, University of Montana – Missoula.

Kay, Charles, and Randy Simmons, 2002, Wilderness & Political Ecology: Aboriginal Influences & the Original State of Nature, The University of Utah Press.
> Ch 5: William L. Preston, “Post-Columbian Wildlife Irruptions in California: Implications for Cultural and Environmental Understanding,” pp. 111-140.
> Ch 6: Thomas W. Newmann, “The Role of Prehistoric People in Shaping Ecosystems in the Eastern United States : Implications for Restoration Ecology and Wilderness Management,” pp. 141-178.
> Ch 8: Charles Kay, “Are Ecosystems Structured from the Top-Down or Bottom-Up? A New Look at an Old Debate,” pp. 215-237.
> Ch 9: Charles Kay, “Afterword: False Gods, Ecological Myths, and Biological Reality,” pp. 238-261.
References Cited, pp. 263-337.

Mann, Charles C. 2000. “Earthmovers of the Amazon.” Science, February 4, Vol. 287:786-789.

Messenger, Stephen. 2009. “Strange Geoglyphs Discovered Beneath Clearcut Amazon.” TreeHugger, December 28.

Newitz, Annalee. 2016. “Finding North America’s Lost Medieval City. Cahokia was Bigger than Paris.” Ars Technica (December 13).

Pearce, Fred. 2007. “Virginity Lost.” Conservation, January-March.

Petit, Charles. 2006, “Jade Axes Proof of Vast Ancient Caribbean Network, Experts Say,” National Geographic, June 12.

Richter, Daniel K. 2002, “Review of Elizabeth Fenn’s Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82. Hill & Wang Publishers, 2001,” Common Place 2 (3).

Roach, John. 2010. ““Lost” Amazon Complex Found; Shapes Seen by Satellite.” National Geographic, January 4.

Sturgis, Amy H. 2006. “The Myth of the Passive Indian – Was America Before Columbus Just a ‘Continent of Patsies’?Reason Online, April.

Watts, Sheldon. 1999, “Review of N.D. Cook’s Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492-1650. Cambridge University Press, 1998,” Journal of World History 10 (2): 459-461.

Levis, Carolina et al. 2018. “How People Domesticated Amazonian Forests.” Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (January 17).

Watling, Jennifer et al. 2017. “Impact of Pre-Columbian “Geoglyph” Builders on Amazonian Forest.” PNAS 114 (8): 1868-1873.

•Neo (Green) Colonialism

Dowie, Mark. 2009. “Human Nature.” Guernica Magazine, May.

Dowie, Mark. 2005. “Conservation Refugees.” Orion Online, November-December.

DeGregori, Thomas R. 2002. “The Environment, our Natural Resources, and Modern Technology,” Iowa State Press.

Zaitchik, Alexander. 2018. “How Conservation Became Colonialism. Indigenous people, not environmentalists, are the key to protecting the world’s most precious ecosystems.” Foreign Policy (July 16).

Tauli-Corpuz, Victoria, Janis Alcorn and Augusta Molnar. 2018. “Cornered by Protected Areas” website (includes a number of case studies).

Lunstrum, Elizabeth. 2016. “Green grabs, land grabs, and the spatiality of displacement: Eviction from Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park.” Area 48 (2): 412-153.

Bose, Pablo and Elizabeth Lunstrum. 2014. “Introduction: Environmentally induced displacement and forced migration.”Refuge 29 (2): 5-10.
Special Issue “Debate: Relocation from Protected Areas
.” Conservation & Society 4 (3) (2006).

Carruther, Jane. 2007. “‘South Africa: A World in One Country’: Land Restitution in National Parks and Protected Areas.” Conservation & Society 5 (3): 292-306.

Rangarajan, Mahesh. 2003. “Parks, Politics and History: Conservation Dilemmas in Africa.” Conservation and Society (1):77-98..


Parletta, Natalie. 2018. “The Serengeti isn’t Wilderness. It’s the Product of Livestock Farming.” Cosmos (August 30).


Friedman, Sharon. 2008. “USDA Forest Service – Change Changes Everything.” Prometheus: The Science Policy Weblog, February 1st.

Khamsi, Roxanne. 2007. “Were ‘Cursed’ Rams the First Biological Weapons?NewScientist.com, 26 November.

O’Toole, Donald. “Cattle Plague: A History. By C. A. Spinage. Published by Kluwer/Plenum Publishers, New York, USA. 2003. 770 Pages. ISBN 0-306-47789-0, US$249.50 (Hardback).” Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 40(3), 2004, pp. 612-613.

Seppa, Nathan. 1997. “Metropolitan Life on the Mississippi.” The Washington Post, March 12.

Riedel, Stefan. 2005. “Edward Jenner and the History of Smallpox and Vaccination.” BMUC Proceedings 18(1): 21-25.

Lewis, James. 2018. “‘White Privilege’ and the Great Stink of 1858.” The American Thinker (January 19).

Smith, Ryan P. 2018. “How Native American Slaveholders Complicate the Trail of Tears Narrative.” Smithsonian.com (March 6).

Christina Snyder, Christina. 2014. “Indian Slavery.” Oxford Research Encyclopedias: American History.

Sumner. William Graham. 1902. Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals. 277. Slavery in North America among Savages.

•Ted Turner’s Bison Operations

Yablonski, Brian. 2007. “Bisonomics.” PERC Report, Vol. 25 No. 3.


World Health Organization
– Health topics – Zoonoses
Zoonoses and veterinary public health (Information resources)
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC)
Measles (Rubeola)
Pandemic Influenza
Past Pandemics
History of Quarantine

– Black Death
– Spanish flu

College of Charleston historian Peter McCandless‘ research seminar syllabus on Disease, Migration and the Environment

Pre-Columbian Americas and Eurasian Diseases

Population history of American indigenous peoples

An audio link to a column written by Charles C. Mann on the background of his book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.

Journalist Charles Mann’s homepage  including the homepage of his book 1491

Anthropology Professor Clark Erickson’s homepage

Cahokia Mounds

A talk by Rodolfo Acuna-Soto on “Drought-Associated Epidemics of Hemorrhagic Fevers and Massive Population Loss in Mexico” given at Yale University in December 2005.

“William M. Denevan” Research Gate

REQUIRED VIDEOS & interactive maps

Woollaston, Victoria. 2015. “Plotting the Spread of Language on our Planet: Interactive Map Reveals how Words have evolved across the World’s Continents.” Daily Mail (January 30). 

Stef Conner “The Flood” (Background: Main, Douglas. 2014. “What Did Ancient Babylonian Songs Sound Like? Something Like This.” Newsweek, December 14).

Johnson, Steven. 2010. “Where Good Ideas Come From.” RiverHead Books.

Tech Insider. 2016. “Zipper Truck Builds Tunnel.” (March 3). 

Curbed. (Undated) “A Brooklyn Letterpress Studio Uses Fonts that Have Never Been …” 


Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapters 12-14.

Wade, Nicholas. 2011. “Phonetic Clues Hint Language Is Africa-Born.” The New York Times, April 14.

Erard, Michael. 2018. “The Deep Roots of Writing.” Aeon (July 6).

Postrel, Virginia. “Four Thousand Years Ago, Textile Traders Invented a Basic Social Technology: Mass Literacy. Reason (December).

Davis-Young, Katherine. 2017. “The College Student Who Decoded the Data Hidden in Inca Knots. Manny Medrano cut loose on spring break by analyzing a set of khipus.” 

Medrano, Manual and Gary Urton. 2018. “The Khipu Code: The knotty mystery of the Inkas’ 3D records.” Aeon (June 13).

Keating, Fiona. 2014. “Ancient Greece: 4,000 Year-Old ‘CD-ROM’ Code Cracked. Scientists unravelling mystery of the mysterious Minoan stone disk.” International Business Times (October 25). 

Smil, Vaclav. 2011. “The Myth of the Innovator Hero.” The Atlantic, November 15.

West, Patrick. 2015. “The Secret to Star Wars’ Success? Unoriginality.” Spiked (December 18).

Sowell, Thomas. 2013. “The Tragedy of Isolation.” Townhall.com (July 30).


Languages and Writing
Matthes, Dylan. 2015. “23 Maps and Charts on Language.” Vox (April 15).

Lucas López, Alberto. 2015. “A World of Languages – and How Many Speak Them.” South China Morning Post (May 27).

Highfield, Roger. 2005. “Is this a message from the Incas?Telegraph.co.uk, September 21.

What Is A Khipu

Mann, Charles C. 2003. “Cracking the Khipu Code.” Science, June 13.

Potier, Beth. 2003. “String theorist: Anthropologist Gary Urton untangles the mystery of Inkan khipus.” Harvard University Gazette, May 23.

Schnare, David W. 2021. “4600 Years of Proverbs.” Jane’s Take on History (May 6).

– Technology
Cowen, Tyler. “Globalization and Diversity: Friends or Foes?Independent Institute, 2003.

Dittmar, Jeremiah and Skipper Seabold. 2019. “Gutenberg’s moving type propelled Europe towards the scientific revolution.” LSE Business Review (March 19).

– Government
Hames, Raymond. 2007. “The Ecologically Noble Savage Debate.” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 36: 177-190.

Levy, Jacob. 2017. “Statist Just-So Stories. The author of Seeing Like a State casts a skeptical eye on the conventional wisdom about the cradle of civilization.” Reason (November 26). 


Jared Diamond on The Evolution of Religions (2009)

Khipu Database Project


We will watch episode 3 of the PBS-National Geographic series on Guns, Germs and Steel : – video | – summary | – full transcript

1000 Years of European Border Changes


Lecture 10

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapters 15-16

Berney, Leila. 2014. “Polynesian Migration Mystery Solved.” Australian Geographic (October 1). 

Wade, Lizzie. 2013. “Clues to Prehistoric Human Exploration Found in Sweet Potato Genome.” ScienceNOW (January 21).

Newitz, Annalee. 2016. “First Discovery of 50,000-year-old Human Settlements in Australian Interior.” Ars Technica (November 2).

Carne, Nick. 2020. “Settlers Arrived in East Polynesia Earlier than Thought.” Cosmos (April 8).

Lecture 11

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapters 17-19. For those of you who have a 2003 (or later) edition of the book, read the “2003 Afterword: Guns, Germs and Steel Today.” For those of you who have an earlier edition, read “How To Get Rich,” A Talk by Jared Diamond, June 7, 1999.

Callaway, Ewen. 2020. “Ancient African Genomes offer Glimpse into Early Human History.” Nature News (January 23).

Editorial Team. 2018. “The Bantu Migration: the irony of “them” and “us” thinking.” Think Africa (October 30).


•Australia – Papua New Guinea

Media Team. 2016. “The Genetic History of Aboriginal Australians and Papuans.” Wellcome Sanger Institute (September 21).

Taylor, Rebe. 2008. “The polemics of making fire in Tasmania: the historical evidence revisited.” Aboriginal History 32: 1-26.

Collard M, Vaesen K, Cosgrove R, Roebroeks W. 2016″ The empirical case against the ‘demographic turn in Palaeolithic archaeology.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 371: 20150242.

•Chinese History

Chinese writing ‘8,000 years old’.” BBC News, May 18, 2007.

•African History

Diop-Maes, Louise Marie. 2008. “What Slavery Did To Africa.” The Toronto Star, February 3.

> South Africa

History of South Africa on Historyworld.net

In Focus: The Battle of Blood River, 16 December 1838.” South African History Online.

Cmdt S. Bourquin, DWD. “The Zulu Military Organization and the Challenge of 1879.” Military History Journal, Vol 4 No 4.

Major (Dr) Felix Machanik. “Firepower and Firearms in the Zulu War of 1879.” Military History Journal, Vol 4 No 6.

Tomaselli, Keyan G. 2003. “Shaka Zulu and Visual Constructions of History.” Screening the Past, June 30.

Hale, Frederick. “The Defeat of History in the Film Zulu.” Military History Journal, Vol 10 No 4.

African languages,” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bantu,” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Manning, Patrick. “The Civilizations of Africa: A History to 1800. By Christopher Ehret. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2002. 481 + xiv pp. Maps and illustrations. $22.50 (paper).Journal of World History, Vol. 15, Issue 2.

Oppenheimer, Stephen. “Myths of British Ancestry.” Prospect Magazine, October 2006.

Webb, James L. A. 2005. “Malaria and the Peopling of Early Tropical Africa.” Journal of World History, Vol. 16, Issue 3.


South African History Online

The Story of Africa | BBC World Service


McCloskey, Deirdre. 2014. “Why Does 1% of History Have 99% of the Wealth?” Learn Liberty.

Marginal Revolution University. 2016. “The Importance of Institutions.”

Human Population Through Time.” 2016. American Museum of Natural History (October).

Cynical Historian. 2019. African History Disproves “Guns Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond (October 26).

Malaria – What is history’s deadliest pandemic? The Economist.


Jared Diamond on geography and political institutions
Diamond, Epilogue.

Diamond, Jared. 2012. “What Makes Countries Rich or Poor?” (Review of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson), The New York Review of Books, June 7.

Burkeman, Oliver. 2014. “Jared Diamond: ‘Humans, 150,000 years ago, wouldn’t figure on a list of the five most interesting species on Earth.” The Guardian (October 24).

Supporters of Diamond
Laitin, David D. Joachim Moortgat and Amanda Lea Robinson. 2012. “Geographic Axes and the Persistence of Cultural Diversity.” PNAS 109(26): 10263-10268.

Critics of Diamond
Blaut, James. 1999, “Environmentalism and Eurocentrencism,” The Geographical Review 89 (3): 391-408.

McNeill, J.R. 2001, “The World According to Jared Diamond,” The History Teacher 34 (2).

Callahan, Gene. 2005, “The Diamond Fallacy,” Mises Institute Website, March 28.

Barker, Jean E. 2005. “The Christian roots of capitalism.” San Francisco Chronicle, December 25.

Hanson, Victor Davis. 2005. “Decline and Fall.” National Review (March 28).

Acemoglu, Daron and James Robinson. 2012. “The Great Debate: No, A nation’s Geography is not its Destiny.” Reuters (March 19).

Taylor, Peter Shawn. 2019. “Was Cortés the conquistador a human-rights warrior?National Post (February 19).

Antrosio, Jason, 2011. “Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond: Against History.” Living Anthropologically (First posted 7 July 2011. Last updated 18 February 2018.)

Deirdre McCloskey
McCloskey, Deirdre. 2006. “Bourgeois Virtues?Cato Policy Report (May/June).

McCloskey, Deirdre N. 2016. “The Formula for a Richer World? Equality, Liberty, Justice.” New York Times (September 2).

McCloskey, Deirdre N. 2018. “Slavery did not Make America Rich.” Reason (August-September).

Joel Mokyr
Mokyr, Joel. 2016. “Progress Isn’t Natural. Humans Invented It-and not that long ago.” The Atlantic (November 17).

-Historical Analysis
Rees, Amanda. 2020. “Are There Laws of History?Aeon (May 12).

Boudreaux, Don. 2005. “Capitalism and Slavery.” Pittsburgh Tribune (February 17).

Carden, Art. 2020.  “Slavery Did Not Enrich Americans.” AIER (June 25).

-Political Organization
McMaken, Ryan. 2020. ““Political Anarchy” Is How the West Got Rich.” Mises Wire (March 4).

Davies, Stephen. 2020. “Good Riddance to the Roman Empire. Maybe Rome needed to disintegrate before the West could grow wealthy.” Reason (March).

Ridley, Matt. 2016. “Free Movement of Genius was Crucial to Europe’s Prosperity.” The Rational Optimist (December 17). 

-Market institutions
Tupy, Marian. 2016. “Africa is Growing Thanks to Capitalism.” Cap X (July 22).

Sanandaji, Nima. 2018. “The “Laffer Curve” Was Discovered by a Medieval Islamic Philosopher.” Fee.org (May 31).

Tupy, Marian L. 2017. “How Africa Got Left Behind.” CapX (April 17).

Carden, Art. 2020. “Why We Are Wealthy.” AIER (January 2).

•Environment and Diseases
– Malaria
— Facts and History
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
About Malaria
The History of Malaria, An Ancient Disease
Eradication of Malaria in the United States (1947-51)

Jarvis, Brooke. 2019. “How Mosquitoes Changed Everything.” New Yorker (July 29).

Tupy, Marian. 2021. “Humanity’s Most Ancient Enemy May Be on Its Way Out. Thanks to COVID-19, few have noted the emergence of an amazing new malaria vaccine.” Human Progress (July 9).

– Climate Change and Malaria
Reiter, Paul. 2008. “Global warming and malaria: knowing the horse before hitching the cart,” Malaria Journal, Volume 7 (Suppl 1):S3, Dec. 11.

Trying to Hit a Mosquito with a Sledgehammer.” World Climate Report, June 8, 2010.


• Supporters of Diamond
Bologna Pavlik, Jamie and Young, Andrew T., 2018. “Did Technology Transfer More Rapidly East-West than North-South?” or here.

• Other Critics of Jared Diamond
Brätland’s, John. 2009. “Geography as Causal in Societal Ascendance: An Austrian Retrospective on Diamond.” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 12 (4): 46-63.

Jaschik, Scott. 2005. “‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’ Reconsidered.” Inside Higher Ed, August 3.

Jones, Leslie. 1998. “Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs And Steel; The Fates Of Human Societies, Jonathan Cape, 1997, £18. 99, pp 480.” Galton Institute Home Page (February).

McNeill, William H. 2003. “History Upside Down.” Gene Expression, November 11.

Sluyter, Andrew. 2003. “Neo-Environmental Determinism, Intellectual Damage Control, and Nature/Society Science,” Antipode 35 (4): 813-817(5)

Judkins, Gabriel, Marissa Smith, Eric Keys (2008). “Determinism Within Human-Environment Research and the Rediscovery of Environmental Causation.” The Geographical Journal 174 (1) , 17–29.

[For more recent debates on the importance or irrelevance of geography for economic development, see lecture 1, suggested readings, especially the recent debate between Jeffrey Sachs and Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson]

• About Deirdre McCloskey
Carden, Art and Deirdre McCloskey. 2018. “How the West got Rich by Following the ‘Four R’s.’” CapX (May 25).

Jone, Eric. 2017. “Economic Growth as the Child of Literature and Ethics: Deirdre McCloskey’s ‘Bourgeois Era’ Trilogy.” Economic Affairs 37 (1) (February).

Emmett, Ross B. 2016. “The Chicago School Student of Bourgeois Civilization.” Man and the Economy 3 (2): 213-224.

Young, Andrew T. 2017. “How the City Air Made Us Free: The Self-Governing Medieval City and the Bourgeoisie Revaluation“.

McMahon, Darrin. 2016. “The Morality of Prosperity.” Wall Street Journal (June 12).

Cox, Wendell. 2016. “Deirdre McCloskey’s Tricke-Out Economics.” New Geography (October 15).

McCloskey, Deirdre. N. 2017. “Excuses for Statism, and for Staying Poor.” Cato Online Forum (April 4).

• About Joel Mokyr
Swanson, Ann. 2016. “Why the Industrial Revolution didn’t happen in China.” Washington Post (October 2).

Mokyr, Joel. 2012. “How Europe Became so Rich.” Aeon (February 15).

• Others
Raico, Ralph. 1994. “The Theory of Economic Development and the European Miracle.” in Peter Boettke (ed.) The Collapse of Development Planning, New York University Press.

Phelps, Edmund S. 2017. “The Dynamism of Nations: Toward a Theory of Indigenous Innovation.” Capitalism and Society, Vol. 12 [2017], Iss. 1, Art. 3. (See also Carl Christian von Weizsäcker, “Comment on ‘The Dynamism of Nations: Elements of a Theory of Indigenous Innovation’ (by Edmund Phelps).” Capitalism and Society: Vol. 12: Iss. 1, Article 8.)

• Historical lock-ins and QWERTY
Gandy, Anthony. 2014. “QWERTY – Kay’s analysis of a non sub-optimal standard.” NEP-HIS Blog (April 16).

• Malaria
Substantial Pieces
Anelli, Carol M. et al. 2006. “Professional Entomology and the 44 Years since Silent Spring. Part 1.” American Entomologist (Winter).

Arrow, Kenneth J., Claire Panosian, and Hellen Gelband. Saving Lives, Buying Time: Economics of Malaria Drugs in an Age of Resistance. The National Academies Press, 2004, 388 pp.

Bleakley, Hoyt. 2007. “Malaria Eradication in the Americas: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Exposure.” August 17.

Carter, Richard, and Kamini N. Mendis. “Evolutionary and Historical Aspects of the Burden of Malaria.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews, October 2002, p. 564-594, Vol. 15, No. 4.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The History of Malaria, An Ancient Disease.

Hay, Simon I., Carlos A. Guerra, Andrew J. Tatem, Abdisalan M. Noor and Robert W. Snow. 2004. “The Global Distribution and Population at Risk of Malaria: Past, Present, and Future.” Lancet Infectious Diseases 4 (6): 327-336.

Hay, Simon I. and Robert W Snow. 2006. “The Malaria Atlas Project: Developing Global Maps of Malaria Risk.” PLoS Med. 3(12): e473.

Heaton, Leonard D. Medical Department, United States Army, Preventive Medicine In World War II, Volume VI – Communicable Diseases: Malaria, Medical Department, United States Army.

Krupke, Christian et al. 2007. “Professional Entomology and the 44 Years since Silent Spring. Part 2: Response to Silent Spring.” American Entomologist (Spring).

Kumar, Sanjai Ph.D. 2006. “Global Problem of Malaria, Biology of Malaria Parasites and Implications for Transfusion-Transmitted Malaria and Detection Methods.” Center for Biologics Research and Review Food and Drug Administration, Malaria Workshop, July 12.

Marten, Pim and Lisbeth Hall. 2000. “Perspective: Malaria on the Move: Human Population Movement and Malaria Transmission.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 6 (2).

Packard, Randall M. “‘Roll Back Malaria, Roll in Development’? Reassessing the Economic Burden of Malaria.” Population and Development Review, Volume 35, Issue 1, Pages 53 – 87.

Reiter, Paul. 2003, “Could Global Warming Bring Mosquito-Borne Disease to Europe?” In Kendra Okonski (ed.), Adapt or Die: The Science, Politics and Economics of Climate Change, Profile Books, pp. 19-38.

Reiter, Paul. “Climate Change and Mosquito-Borne Disease.” Environmental Health Perspectives Supplements, Volume 109, Number S1, March 2001.

Reiter, Paul. 2000. “From Shakespeare to Defoe: Malaria in England in the Little Ice Age,” Emerging Infectious Diseases 6(1).

Rodrigues, Priscila. T et al. 2018. “Human Migration and the Spread of Malaria Parasites to the New World.” Scientific Reports 8, Article number: 1993.

Roberts, Donald, Richard Tren. “DDT in Malaria Control: Roberts and Tren Respond.” Environmental Health Perspectives 118 (7): A283.

Snow, Bob & John Ouma, “Report prepared for Roll Back Malaria, Resource Network on Epidemics, World Health Organisation.” July 1999.

Wiser, Mark. “Plasmodium Species Infecting Humans.” Tulane University.

[Note: Project MUSE – Disease, Colonialism, and the State in the list is not referenced properly. It should instead be Yip, Ka-che (ed.). 2009. Disease, Colonialism and the State: Malaria in Modern East Asian History. Hong Kong University Press]

– Popular Articles
Berlau, John. 2006. “The Case of the DDT Deniers – Kenya Crazy Talk.” National Review Online, November 29.

Cotton, Simon. “The Mighty Quinine.” Molecule of the Month.

DDT and Attacks on Rachel Carson: The CliffsNote Version.” Bug Girl’s Blog, June 29, 2007.

Dobson, Mary. 1999. “The History of Malaria in England.” The Wellcome Trust, December 1st.

Driessen, Paul. 2008. “Killing Malarial Mosquitos Now!” Townhall.com, October 4.

Dugger, Celia W. 2006. “W.H.O. Supports Wider Use of DDT vs. Malaria.” The New York Times, September 16.

Finkel, Michael. 2007. “Stopping A Global Killer.” National Geographic (July).

Gladwell, Malcom. 2001. “The Mosquito Killer.” Gladwell.com, July 2.

Greenwood, Brian. 2006. “Lessons from Italy.” Nature, 441, 933-934, 22 June.

Dr. Miller, Henry I. and Gregory Conko. 2006. “The UN vs. Technology.” Tech Central Station, April 7.

Muir-Cochrane, Ian. 2005. “WHO malaria figures are ‘flawed’.” BBC News, August 30.

Paul, Marla. 2007. “Researchers Discover Surprising Drug that Blocks Malaria.” EurekAlert!, January 15.

Reiter, Paul. 2007. “Dangers of Disinformation.” International Herald Tribune, January 11.

Reiter, Paul. 2007, “It’s Tires, Not Global Warming.” The Korea Times, October 4.

Reiter, Paul. 2007. “Global Warming Won’t Spread Malaria.” EIR Science & Environment, April 7.

Sandle, Tim. 2014. “Why do Some Mosquitoes Carry Malaria?Digital Journal (December 3).

WHO. Malaria Fact sheet N°94. April 2012.

> Malaria in Ontario

McManus, Paul. 2007. “Malaria in Canada?Mysteries in Canada, October 30.

Wayson, Ken W. 2007. “Malaria – A Rideau Mythconception.” Rideau Reflections, Winter/Spring Ed.

History of the Rideau Lockstations – Malaria on the Rideau.”

• DDT and other insects and diseases
Bed Bugs.” University of Kentucky Entomology.

-Environment and Diseases
— Eradication Strategies
Driessen, Paul. 2010. “Three Billion and Counting.” Townhall (September 11).

Roberts, Donald. 2010. “A Feverish Malthusian Defends Malaria as a Non-Problem.” 21st Century Science and Technology (Winter): 42-46.

Administrator. 2014. “A Knockout Punch against Malaria? Maybe.” ACSH Dispatch.

Vezina, Kenrick. 2015. “Malaria Vaccine? Genetic Engineering turns Parasite into Vaccine Candidate.” Genetic Literacy Project (January 4). 

– Other diseases
Goldstein,Richard. 2010. “René Le Berre, Entomologist Who Fought River Blindness, Is Dead at 78.” The New York Times, December 17.

Sridhar, Arvind. 2015. “How Does Geography Impact the Ebola Virus?About.com (September 20).


• Natural Experiments as Research Methods
Distinguished Science Lecture Series, The Skeptics Society in California (2010). “Dr. Jared Diamond – Natural Experiments of History.”

Special Issue of Antipode (volume 35, no. 4, 2003): Review Symposium: Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel.

J. M. Blaut, Eight Eurocentric Historians, Guilford Press, 228 pp., August 2000.

WHO | Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases is Feasible

• Malaria
3 Billion and Counting (movie)

A special issue of the Malaria Journal on “Towards a research agenda for global malaria elimination.”

aBetterEarth.Org – Insecticides, DDT, and the Malaria Epidemic

The Malaria Website of the Wellcome Trust

The WHO on Malaria

Africa Fighting Malaria

Malaria Site: Comprehensive Malaria Website

The History of Malaria, an Ancient Disease

Malaria (WHO)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The History of Malaria, An Ancient Disease